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Washington and Kent Counties, 



Their Early Settlement and Progress to the Present Time; 
A Description of their Historic and Interesting Lo- 
calities; Sketches of their Towns and Villages; 
Portraits of some of their Prominent Men, 
AND Biographies of many of their 
Representative Citizens. 

By J. R. COLE. 


New York : 


\M 3 c I- <^"^ 



Press of J. HENRY PROBST, 
36 Vesey St. , New York. 


In the preparation of the history of the Narragansett country 
every available source of information has been utilized, yet it 
is to be regretted that every work of this kind contains im- 
perfections. It is hoped, however, that the defects in this work 
are comparatively trifling and that the citizens of Washington 
and Kent counties will have reason to be satisfied with the 

Records of every kind, town, church and court, unpublished 
manuscripts, standard histories, private diaries, letters and local 
traditions have furnished the material, which has been sifted, 
collated and arranged according to the writer's ability. 

When making extracts from records and ancient documents 
we have given as far as possible faithful transcripts of the 
originals, copying the dates and spelling as written. This will 
account for the occasional inconsistency in the orthography 
of names. In many instances the spelling of the names has 
changed, as that of Pierce, written Peirce, and also by others, 

The author sincerely thanks the many kind friends who have 
generously aided in the preparation of this work. Particular ac- 
knowledgment. is due to Frederick T. Rogers, M. D., of Westerly, 
who wrote the medical history of Washington county, and to Doc- 
tor James H. Eldredge, who wrote the history of the physicians of 
East Greenwich and other sketches of that town ; to Peleg F. 
Pierce and to ex-Governor John J. Reynolds for their assistance 
in the preparation of the history of North Kingstown ; to John 
G. Clarke for the history of the Great Swamp Fight and of the 
County Agricultural Society ; to Mrs. B. F. Robinson and Jeffrey 


W. Potter, both of South Kingstown, and Thomas A. Reynolds 
of East Greenwich, for various sketches furnished ; to Joseph 
Peace Hazard, of South Kingstown, who contributed the follow- 
ing views: " Hazard Memorial Castle," " Druidsdream," "The 
Cottage," "Home of the late Rowland Gibson Hazard, LL.D.," 
"Oakwoods," "The Acorns," " Peace Dale Mills," and "Congre- 
gational Church, Peace Dale "; to Reverend J. L. Cottrell and 
Deacon A. Langworthy for assistance in the preparation of the 
town history of Hopkinton ; to Professor W. F. Tucker, who 
wrote the history of Charlestown, and to Charles W. Hopkins, 
who prepared the sketches for the history of the town of West 
Greenwich ; to Edwin Babcock for the history of the banks of 
Westerly ; to George H. Babcock and Honorable Henry E. 
Chamberlin for the business history of Westerly ; to Dwight R. 
Adams, who wrote the history of the Masonic fraternity of Kent 
county, and to others for various contributions. 

Mention should also be made of the following list of books, 
pamphlets and papers from which we have copied freely and 
without comment : Reverend Frederick Denison's History of 
Westerly, Reverend S. S. Griswold's History of Hopkinton, 
Reverend J. R. Irish's History of Richmond, David S. Baker's 
History of North Kingstown, Doctor Greene's History of East 
Greenwich, Doctor Fuller's History of Warwick and William B. 
Spencer's History of Phenix and adjacent villages, published in 
the Pawtuxct Valley Gleaner and kindly furnished us by Mr. John 
H. Campbell, its proprietor and editor. 

Thanks are especially due to the press of Washington and 
Kent counties for free access at all times to their files. In short 
the citizens of both counties have opened up every avenue 
within their reach, and it is hoped the work now before the 
reader will stimulate a healthy emulation by exciting a truer 
appreciation in others for our ancestors who, going before, have 
made these counties distinguished in the annals of American 




The Indian Country and Its Discovery by the White Settlers.— The Signifi- 
cant Challenge.— The Erection of an Indian Fort.— The Narragansett 
Indians.— The Visit of the Great Sachem.— The Various Tribes of Indians 
and Their Modes of Warfare and Subsistence.- Indian Gods.— Lands 
Deeded to Roger Williams by the Indians.— Williams' Letters.— The Pe- 
quots.— The Behavior of the Pequots Toward Other Indians and the 
Whites. — Contentions about Misquamicut. — Preparations for War. — 
Trumbull's Description of the Fight.— The Warwick Purchase.— War 
with the Mohegans. — Miantinomo. — Niantics. — Ninigret and his Success- 
ors. — The Sachems of the Various Tribes. — The Manisses and Montauks 
and Their Feuds, by F. Denison.— The Great Swamp Fight 1 



Situation. — Trading Houses. — Boundary Lines. — The Colonial Controversy. 
— Altercations with Plymouth and Connecticut . — Petitions to the Throne. 
, —The Charter of 1663.— Roger Williams' Letter.— The Trouble with 
Connecticut. — Meeting of the Commissioners. — The New Boundary Lines. 
— The King's Province. — The Letter to the King. — Decision of the King's 
Commissioners. — Final Settlement of the DifiSculty. — The Palatine Light. 
— The King's Highway. — The Dark Day.— Slavery and the Slave Trade. 
— Lake Narragansett and other places 37 



Richard Smith. —The Fones Record.— The Petitioners' List.— The Clarke 
Family. — The French Settlement. — The Landed Aristocracy. — Extensive 
Farms and their Dairy Products. — Governor Robinson. — Pettaquamsoutt 
and its Surroundings. — Gilbert Stuart. — George Rome and his Country 
Villa. — An Extraordinary Answer to Prayer. — Theophilus Whaley. — 
The Willetts. — The Hazards. — Ministry Lands. — The Pettaquamsoutt 
Purchase. — The Church Difficulty. — The Decision of the King's Council. 
— Reverend James McSparran, D. D 49 





The Erection of the King's Province.— Joseph Dudley's Proclamation.— 
Names Given to the Different Towns.— The Erection of Kings County.— 
The Act of the Assembly Changing Kings to Washington County.— 
The Court House and County Jail.— Execution of Thomas Carter.— 
Daniel Harry, the Indian Convict.— The Great September Gale.— The 
Beginning of the Present Century.— Ship Building.— Social Indulgences. 
—Washington (^unty Agricultural Society.— Public Schools.— News- 



Revolutionary Period. — Original Causes of the War. — Destruction of the 
British Vessels "Liberty" and " Gaspee." — Forces Raised by the Vari- 
ous Towns. — Reminiscences of the Sanguinary Conflict. — Kentish Guards. 
— The Capture of Major-General Prescott. — Colonel Christopher Greene. — 
Major-General Nathaniel Greene. — The Dorr Rebellion. — The Civil War. 105 



History of the Courts. — List of Rhode Island Governors from Washington 
and Kent Counties. — The Attorneys-General. — Bar Compact. — Daniel 
Updike. — Lodowick Updike. — Wilkins Updike. — Samuel Ward. — Harry 
Babcock. — James Mitchell Varnum. — Stephen Arnold. — Richard Ward 
Greene. — Rouse T. Helme. — Archibald Campbell. — Jacob Campbell. — 
Joseph L. Tillinghast. — Nathan F. Dixon. — John H. Cross. — Elisha R. 
Potter, Sr. — Elisha R. Potter. — Judge Dutee Arnold. — Sylvester Gardiner 
Shearman. — George A. Brayton. — Albert Collins Greene. — Nathan Whit- 
ing. — William G. Bowen. — Joseph Windsor. — William E. Peck. — John 
Hall.— David S. Baker, Jr.— William C. Baker.— Elisha C. Clark.— 
Henry Howard. — Henry B. Anthony. — Thomas H. Peabody. — Charles 
Perrin. — Albert B. Crafts. — Albert B. Burdick. — Henry Whipple. — 
Eugene F. Warner. — Nathan B. Lewis. — Samuel W. K. Allen. — Benja- 
min W. Case. — Charles J.]|Arms 153 

The Medical Profession. 


James Noyes. — (xeorge Stillman. — Thomas Rodman. — William Vincent. — 
Joshua Babcock. — SylvesterGardiner.— Joseph Comstock.— John Aldrich. 
— Daniel Lee. — James Noyes. — George Hazard Perry. — Nathan Knight. — 
Israel Anthony. — Peleg Johnson. — William G. Shaw. — Amos Collins. — 
Isaac Collins. — John Collins. — John JI. Collins. — Stephen F. Griffin. — 

Dan King. — William Robinson. — Horatio Robinson.^ John G. Pierce. 

Joseph H. GrifRn. — Henry Aldrich. — George Hazard Church. — William 

T. Thurston. — John B. Rose. — John E. Weeden. — Thomas A. Hazard. 

William H. Wilbur. — Edwin R. Lewis. — Edwin Anthony. — Joseph D. 

Kenyon. — John D. Kenyon. — Amos R. Collins. — Albert A. Saunders. 

Samuel B. Church. — Elisha P. Clarke. — John A. Wilcox.— Curtiss E. 


Maryott.— J. Howard Morgan.— John Wilbur.— John H. Merrill.— Henry 
N. CrandalL— George C. Bailey.— Alexander B. Briggs.— Charles Hitch- 
cock.— Etta Payne.— Lucy A. Baboock.— John E. Pen-y.- S. Oscar Myers. 
James N. Lewis.— H. W. Rose.— George H. Beebe.— Alvin H. Eccleston. 
—George V. Foster.— George F. Bliven.— Edward E. Kenyon.— Herbert 
J. Pomroy.— F. T. Rogers.— Henry K. Gardner.— Philip K. Taylor.— 
William J. Ryan.— Lorin F.Wood.— William James.— John Champlin. 
— Edwin R. Lewis.— Other Physicians. — County Medical Society. 


Thomas Spencer.— Thomas Aldrich.— Dutee Jerauld.— Joseph Joslyn.— Peter 
Turner.— John Tibbitts.— Charles Eldredge.— Lucius M.Wheeler.— Daniel 
Howland Greene.— James H. Eldredge.— Sylvester Knight.— Stephen 
Harris. — John J.Wood. — John McGregor. — Job Kenyon. — Ira C. Win- 
sor. — John Winsor.— John Matteson.— F. B. Smith.— M. J. E. Legris.— 
James B. Tillinghast.— William J. Burge.— James Boardman Hanaford. 
— W. H. Sturtevant.— C. L. Wood.— E. G. Carpenter.— G. L. Richards. 
— Joseph Suprenant. — John F. Carpenter. — William Hubbard. — N. B. 
Kenyon.— Albert C. Dedrick.— Albert G. Sprague.— George T. Perry 183 



Principal Features of the Township.— The First Settlers of Westerly.— The 
Purchase of Misquamicut. — Hardships Encountered by the Early Settlers. 
— Doctor Joshua Babcock. — Roll of Early Freemen. — Town Records. — 
RoU of Representatives. — List of Town Clerks. — Present Officers. — Notes 
from Timothy Dwight. — Granite Quarries. — Watch Hill. — Ocean View. 
— Potter Hill. — Lottery Village.— White Rock. — Niantic— Indian Church. 
— Presbyterian Church. — The Union Meeting House. — The Gardner 
Church. — TheWilcox Church.— Friends' Society. — River Bend Cemetery. 

— Graveyards 238 



The Village of Westerly, Its Location and Its Business History. — Early Mills. 
— Grist Mills. — Early Woolen Mills, Foundries and Machine Shops. — 
Printing Press Manufactory. — C. Maxson & Co. — Carriage Business. — 
Stillmanville.— Stillman Mill and Machine Shops.— O.M. Stillman.— Early 
Merchants of Westerly. — The Clothing Business. — The Furniture Trade. 
— The Grocery Trade. — The Boot and Shoe Trade.— Drug Stores. — Hard- 
ware. — Public Houses. — Banks of Westerly. — Schools. — Churches.— Fire 
District. — Library Association. — Societies, etc 294 



Rowse Babcock. — The Chapman Family.— Peleg Clarke. — Benjamin F. 
Clark. — Charles B. Coon. — Calvert B. Oottrell. — Amos Cross. — Daniel F. 
Larkin. — Azro N. Lewis. — Jonathan Maxson. — Charles Maxson. — 
Charles Perry. — James Monroe Pendleton. — Eugene B. Pendleton. — 
Thomas Wells Potter.— Joseph H. Potter.— William D. Potter.— Thomas 
Wanton Segar. — Orlando Smith.— Orlando R. Smith.— Thomas V. Still- 
man. — Thomas Vincent. — Wager Weeden. — John E. Weeden. — Edwin 
Milner 337 




Description.— Population.— Noted Places.— Richard Smith's Block House.— 
The Updikes.— The Big Grave.— Early Settlement and Early Settlers. 
—List of Freemen.— The Erection of the Town.— Early Pastimes.— Negro 
'Lections.— Town Clerks.— Town Officers.— Land Titles.— The Villages, 
their Industries, etc.— The Town Farm.— Murders.— Elm Grove Ceme- 
tery.— Schools.— First Baptist Church, Allenton.— Quidnessett Baptist 
Church, North Kingstown.— Six Principle Baptist Church.— Other 
Churches ^"^^ 



Situation of the Village.— Early Traders and Their Places of Business.— 
Notes of 1849.— Banks.— Jonathan Reynolds.— John J. Reynolds. -Pardon 
T. Hammond.— Hotels.— Thomas C. Peiroe.— Fire Engine Company.— 
The Annaquatucket Temple of Honor.— Jocelyn Council, No. 6. — Uncas 
Encampment. — Mails. — Washington Academy. — Libraries. — Sea Cap- 
tains. — St. Paul's Church — Baptist Church. — Methodist Church. — Ste- 
phen B. Reynolds.— Alfred Blair Chadsey 446 



General Features. — Erection of the Township. — Town Clerks. — Township of 
Narragansett. — Freemen. — Early Births. — Reminiscences. — The Hazards, 
Robinsons, Rodmans, Watsons, Perrys, Sweets and other Families. — 
Amusing Incidents. — Short Sketches by Jeffrey W. Potter. — A Suicide. — 
Schools. — Town Farm. — Tower Hill. — Presbyterian Church. — Narragan- 
sett Pier. — Hotels. — Other Objects of Interest. — St. Peter's by the Sea. 
— Presbyterian Church 481 



Wakefield. — Wakefield Mills. — Banks. — Hotels. — Episcopal Chui-ohes. — Bap- 
tists. — Catholics. — Riverside Cemetery. — Peace Dale. — Oil Mill. — Con- 
gregational Church. — Rocky Brook. — Church at Rocky Brook. — Little 
Rest. — Bank. — Kingston Church. — The Congregational Church. — Glen 
Rock. — Queen River Baptist Church. — Kingston Station. — Bui-nside. — 
Perryville. — Fort Tucker. — Curtis Corner. — South Ferry. — Greene Hill. 
— Mooresfield. — Life Saving Station. — Light House. — Point Judith Pond. 
—George W. Sheldon. — Daniel Sherman. — Stephen A. Wright 579 



Incorporation. — First Town Meeting. — Town Clerks. — Churches. — Schools. — 
Manufactories. — King's Purchase. — Mills. — Indian Burying Ground. — 
Library. — Public Halls. — Great Fire at Shannook. — Ponds. — Springs. 
—Hills.— Bridges.— Biographical Sketches 630 




Description of the Town.— Noted Places.— Queen's Fort.— Beach Pond.— 
Town Organization.— Town Officers.- List of Town Clerks.— Early Set- 
tlement.— Exeter Hollow.— Hallville.—Fisherville.— Pine Hill.— The Ex- 
eter Bank.— Lawtonville.-Browningville.—Millville.— Boss Rake Fac- 
tory.— Yawgoo.— The Town Farm and Asylum.— Schools.— Churches.— 
Library. — Biographical Sketches 663 



Oeneral Features of the Town and Places of Note. — Early Legislation. — 
Prominent Settlers. — Thomas Clarke, the Surveyor.— Disposition of 
Lands. — Town Records. — Town Officers. — Early Mills. — Wagons, when 
First Used. — Schools. — Hope Valley. — Arcadia. — Wyoming. — Carolina 
MiUs. — Shannock. — Clark's Mills. — Kenyon's Mills.— Woodville.—Wood- 
ville Seventh Day Baptist Church. — Plainville. — Wood River Chapel. — 
Hillsdale. — Tug Hollow Mills. — Usquepaug. — Queen's River Baptist 
Church. — Richmond Church. — Biographical Sketches 69S 



General Features of the Town. — Early Legislation. — Civil Officers. — Toma- 
quag Valley. — The Lewis Family. — The Langworthy Family. — The Bab- 
cock Family. — The Wells Family. — Early Amusements. — Horse Insur- 
ance Company. — Schools. — Libraries. — Ashaway and its Mills, Stores and 
Banks. — The First Seventh Day Baptist Church. — Bethel. — Laureldale. — 
Hopkinton City, its Stores, Hotels, Manufactories and Churches. — Hope 
Valley.— Manufacturing.— Stores.— Banks. — Hotels. — Library. — Churches. 
— Locustville. — Barberville.— Wyoming.— Rockville.—Centerville.—Rock- 
ville Manufacturing Company. — Moscow. — Rockville Seventh Day Baptist 
Church. — Biographical Sketches 755 



The Aboriginal Inhabitants. — Sketches of Prominent Settlers.— Troubles 
with Massachusetts. — Erection of the County. — East Greenwich Acad- 
emy.— The Society of Friends.— Captain Thomas Arnold.— Extract from 
Daniel Howland's Diary.— Freemasonry in Kent County 843 



Important Features of the Towns.— Town Organization.— Protection Laws 
Against the Indians.— Land Grants.— Highways.— Town House.— List of 
Town Clerks.— Town Officers.— Schools.— Pawtuxet.— Rocky Point. 
—The Buttonwoods.— Oakland Beach.— Shawomet Baptist Church.— 
Apponaug and Coweset Shore, Industries, Churches, etc.— Crompton, 
its Early Manufacturing, Stores, Churches, etc.— Centreville.— Arctic, its 
Industries and Churches 920 




Phenix and Its Surrounding Villages.— Early History.— Lippitt Manufactur- 
ing Company.— Roger Williams Manufacturing Company and Phenix 
MiUs. — Stores. —Undertakers. — Railroad. — Hotels. — Fire District. — 
Water Company.— Fires.— Banks.— Public Library.— Tatem Meeting 
House. — Phenix Baptist Church. — Phenix Methodist Church. — Catholic 
Church, Phenix.— Episcopal Church.— Clyde Print Works.— River Point. 
— Congregational Church, River Point. — Natick. — Natick First Baptist 
Church.— Pontiac— First Free Will Baptist Church. — All Saints' Church. 
—Hill's Grove.— Methodist Church.— Biographical Sketches 974 



General Description of the Town. — Division of Lands. — West Greenwich 
Set Ofe.— The Census of 1774.— Temperance.- The Poor, How Cared For. 
— Town Officers in 1888. — The Fry Family. — Commerce and the Fisher- 
ies. — The Spencer Family. — George Washington Greene. — Hugh Essex 
and the Old Grist Mill. — Education. — The Village of East Greenwich. — 
First Inhabitants and What They Did. — Samuel King. — The Mercan- 
tile Trade. — Libraries. — Banks. — Fii-e Department. — Water Works. — 
Electric Light. — Societies. — Churches. — Manufactures. — Biographical 
Sketches 1056 



General Features of the Town with Points of Interest. — Division of the 
Lands and Settlement of the Town. — Sketches of the Thirteen Original 
Purchasers. — Town Organization, Etc. — Industries. — Education. — The- 
ophilus Whaley. — Sketches of Some of the Leading Men of West Green- 
wich. — Nooseneck, its Manufacturing and Mex-cantile Interests. — Es- 
coheag. — West Greenwich Centre. — Robin Hollow. — Liberty. — The 
Churches 1140 



Description. — Incorporation, etc. — The Coventry and Warwick Dividing 
Line. — Town Officers. — Town Asylum. — Coventry and Cranston Turn- 
pike. — Education. — Secret Societies. — Greenwood Cemetery. — Quidnick. 
— Tin Top Church. — Anthony. — Coventry Company. — Stores. — Central 
Baptist Church. — Maple Root Church. — Washington Village and its In- 
dustries. — Washington Methodist Church. — Coventry Manufacturing 
Company. — Coventry Centre. — Spring Lake. — Whaley. — Barclay. — Sum- 
mit. — The Christian Church. — Greene. — Fairbanks. — Hopkins' Hollow. 
— Harris. — Arkwright. — Black Rook. — Biographical Sketches 1175 

^Personal Paragraphs 1228 




Adams, Dwight R 1035 

Aldrich, David L 830 

Allen, Edwin R 821 

Allen, s. w. K !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'.!!!!!!!!! iso 

Babcock, Rowse 338 

Barber, Edward 833 

Barber, Thomas A 833 

Bennett, "William G 1037 

Bodfish, William 1138 

Briggs, A. B. , M. D 313 

Briggs, Asa S 884 

Briggs, Ira G 83& 

Browning, John A 441 

Campbell, John H 98 

Chaoe, Thomas W 1130 

Chadsey, Alfred B. . . .- 478 

Chapman, Courtland P 333 

Chapman, Harris P 383 

Chapman, Israel 330' 

Chapman, John 333^ 

Chapman, Sumner 331 

Church, George H 194 

Clark, Benjamin F 335 

Clark, Charles 741 

Clark, Charles P 743 

Clark, Simeon P 743" 

Clarke, Peleg 334 

Collins, Alfred 657 

Collins, Amos R 313 

Coon, Charles B 336 

Cottrell, Calvert B 338 

Cross, John H 168 

Cross, William D 658 

Davis, James M 411 

Dews, Joseph 1131 

Eldredge, James H 336. 

Ellis, John C 1038 

Ennis, George N 744 

Fry, Thomas G 1133 

Gardner, Z. Herbert 684 

Godfrey, John R 1030 

Greene, Anson 745 

(jreene, Charles J 746 

Greene, Clarke S 686 

Greene, Henry L 1033 

Greene, Henry W 1035 

Greene, Lauriston H 1133 

Greene, Richard 1037 

Greene, Simon Henry 103^ 



Griffin, Joseph H 193 

Griffin, Stephen W 1216 

Hammond, Pardon T 456 

Hazard, Isaac P 496 

Hazard,, Joseph P 502 

Hazard, Rowland 504 

Hazard, Rowland G 500 

Hazard, Thomas R 498 

Heydon, Henry D 1039 

Hill, Thomas J 1040 

Hopkins, Pardon 1154 

Howard, Henry ITS 

Hoxie, John W 748 

Kenyon, E. A 660 

Kenyon, Elijah 750 

Kenyon, Job 330 

Kenyon, John D 301 

Kenyon, Joseph D *. 300 

Kenyon, Thomas E 1134 

Kilton, John J 1318 

Langworthy, Benjamin P., 3d 828 

Langworthy, Joseph 830 

Langworthy, Josiah W 889 

Langworthy, Oliver 831 

Langworthy, Robert H 833 

Langworthy, William A 833 

Lanphear, Harris 834 

Lapham, Enos 1044 

Larkin, Daniel F 341 

Legris, M. J. E 232 

Lewis, Azro N 342 

Lewis, Edwin R 199 

Lewis, James 690 

Lookwood, James T 1046 

Madison, Joseph W 442 

Maglone, John 444 

Matteson, Charles 1220 

Maxson, Charles 350 

Maxson, Jonathan 348 

May, Thomas 1136 

Milner, Edwin 370a 

Money, Philip A 692 

Morgan, J. Howard 212 

Nichols, Gardner 836 

Olney, George H 838 

Peabody, Thomas H 103 

Peckham, Pardon S 1222 

Peckham, Thomas C 1224 

Peirce, Thomas C ; 458 

Pendleton, Eugene B 357 

Pendleton, James M 354 



Perry, Charles 352 

Pike, David ]^Q4g 

Pomroy, Herbert J 313 

Potter, Horatio W 1049 

Potter, Joseph H 360 

Potter, Thomas "W 358 

Potter, William D 363 

Read, Byron 1226 

Reoch, Robert 1050 

Reynolds, Albert S 413 

Reynolds, Allen 413 

Reynolds, John J 455 

Reynolds, Stephen B 4i74 

Robinson, Jeremiah P 516 

Robinson, Sylvester 512 

Rodman, Isaac P 528 

Rodman, Robert 416 

Rodman, Samuel 526 

Rogers, Frederick T 212 

Rose, Henry W 810 

Segar, Francis B 752 

Segar, Thomas W 364 

Segar, William F 753 

Sheldon, George W 624 

Sherman, Daniel 626 

Smith, Orlando 366 

Smith, Orlando R 367 

Spencer, Christopher 1052 

Spencer, Richard 1187 

Spmk, Nicholas B 440 

Sweet, Henry 408 

Sweet, John T. G 696 

Utter, George B 100 

Vincent, Thomas , 368 

Walton, WiUiam A 754 

Waterhouse, Benjamin F 1054 

Watson, Elisha F 532 

Weaver, Silas 1138 

WeUs, Augustus L 840 

Wells, Jonathan R 842 

Wilcox, John A 204 

Wright, Stephen A 628 


Map of Washington and Kent Counties 1 

Residence of Edwin Thompson 300 

Printing Press Manufactory of C. B. Cottrell & Sons 389 

Bung-Town Patriot 853 

Views at Davisville 406 

Residence of Allen Reynolds 414 



Rodman Manufacturing Company 415 

House of Mrs. H. Allen 418 

House of Robert Rodman 418 

House of Walter Rodman 418 

House of Franklin Rodman 418 

Quidnessett — Home of tlie late Nicholas Boone Spink 441 

Cold Spring House 459 

Hazard Memorial Castle 574 

Druidsdream 576 

The Cottage — Home of the late Isaac P. Hazard 592 

The Home of the late Rowland Gibson Hazard, LL.D 594 

Oakwoods — House of Rowland Hazard 596 

The Acorns — House of Rowland G. Hazard 598 

Peace Dale Mills 603 

Congregational Church, Peace Dale, R. 1 606 

Home of the late Stephen A. Wright 629 

Residence of the late John T. Gardner 668 

Plainview — Residence of Z. Herbert Gardner 685 

E. Kenyon & Son's Woolen MiUs 722 

W. A. Walton & Co.'s Wood River Mills 755 

Nichols & Langworthy Machine Company's Works 804 

Views at the Old Forge, Powtowomut Neck 922 

Sunny-Side — Residence of Enos Lapham 966 

Ehzabeth MiUs 1024 

East Greenwich Academy 1078 

Residence of Lauriston H. Greene 1133 




WVW". PRBSTOH & CO.. PtiWishers 

7l°J4ff LoKgitudp Wegt iVcmi Oeeiwidli 71' 


Washington and Kent Counties. 



The Indian Country and Its Bisoovery by the White Settlers. —The Significant 
Challenge.— The Erection of an Indian Fort.— The Narragansett Indians.— 
The Visit of the Great Sachem.— The Various Tribes of Indians arid Their 
Modes of Warfare and Subsistence.— Indian Gods.— Lands Deeded to Roger 
Williams by the Indians.— Williams' Letters.— The Pequots.— The Behavior 
of the Pequots Toward Other Indians and the Whites.— Contentions Al)out 
Misquamicut.— Preparations for War.— Trumbull's Description of the Fight. 
— The Warwick Purchase.— War with the Mohegans.— Miantinomo.— Nian- 
tics. — Ninigret and his Successors, by W. F. Tucker.— The Sachems of the 
Various Tribes. — The Manisses and Montauks and Their Feuds, by F. Deni- 
son.— The Great Swamp Figlit, by John G. Clarke. 

IN April, 1606, King James I. divided the country claimed in 
America into two portions. The sotith half he allotted to a 
London company ; the north half to a company established 
at Plymouth, in the west of England. The council established 
at Plymouth was made patent in the year ]620, incorporating 
Lords Lenox, Arundel, Hamilton, Warwick and other lords and 
gentlemen to the number of forty. In the summer of 1621 Ply- 
mouth sent Edward Winslow and Stephen Hopkins to take a view 
of Massasoit and his country. These brought word on their re- 
turn, of the Narragansetts, a people that lived on the other side 
of the great bay, which were reported as a people strong and 
many in numbers. This was probably the first intimation that 
the English had of the existence of the Narragansetts. 

Upon the arrival of the whites in Narragansett they found a 

land overhung by a dense cloud, and a people covered by a great 

darkness. On the one side rolled the mysterious ocean, on the 

other was a forest of mantled mountains and valleys, tameless 



beasts, and but partial clearings in the glens and by the river 
banks. No rivers were bridged, no roads were opened, no cities 
nor towns nor even villages were founded, and nothing to show 
human animation save here and there the smoke of some frail 
wigwam, or the bark canoes of a swarthy, half clad pagan tribe, 
descending the shaded rivers, or they themselves creeping 
stealthily along their shores. Here was a wilderness, indeed, 
with none but wild men within the gates. But here again was 
the opportunity to test the boasted light of nature, and to ascer- 
tain what man's illumination could do on a grand scale. Here 
was a land of people with no literature, no monuments, and with 
no lineage of their fatherhood. All before this era of American 
history had been darkness, bewilderment, weakness and moral 
decay ; and here the histor}^ of the Narragansett country begins. 

We are to treat first of the Aborigines who inhabited the 
southern portion of Rhode Island. The tribes that first and last 
within the memory of the whites claimed jurisdiction over this 
country were three — the Niantics, the Pequots and the Narragan- 

The first intercourse the whites had with the Indians was of a 
hostile character, and ominous of evil. The Narragansetts sent 
messengers to Plymouth, with a bundle of arrows tied together 
with a .snake-skin. The Indian who served the colonists as inter- 
preter told them it was a challenge. The governor returned 
them a very rough answer, that they might begin war when they 

In the summer of 1622 the Plymouth settlers, somewhat fear- 
ful that the Indians would commit depredations, built a fort for 
protection against them, for they had very improperly assisted 
Massasoit against the Narragansetts, and when the latter had 
captured the former and carried him off into captivity, the Eng- 
lish assisted in his deliverance, which they knew the Narragan- 
setts would resent. The Narragansetts and Massasoit were at 
variance on the arri^'al of the English, and Massasoit probably 
endeavored to make rise of the English to render himself inde- 
pendent of the Narragansetts. There were frequent broils be- 
tween these tribes, and in 1632, because of a difference, the Nar- 
ragansetts attacked the English house at Pokanoket, as was said 
to take Massasoit, but retired suddenly to fight the Pequots, with 
whom they were then out. 

In 1631 Canonicus' son, the great sachem of the Narragansetts, 


came to the governor's house with John Sagamore. After they 
had dined he gave the governor a skin, and the governor re- 
quited him with a fair pewter pot, which he took very thankfully 
and staid, all night. In August of 1632 Miantinomo went to Bos- 
ton with his squaw and twelve sannups, and while he was attend- 
ing a sermon with the governor three of his sannups broke into 
a dwelling house. Upon the complaint of the governor and at 
his request Miantinomo caused them to be flogged and sent them 

The Narragansett tribe anciently held jurisdiction over most 
of the present state of Rhode Island. In their palmy days they 
were able to call into the field (when Canonicus and Miantinomo 
ruled over them) about four thousand warriors. They had rule 
over the tribes of Misquamicut, ?'. e., the townships of Westerly, 
Hopkinton, Charlestown and Richmond (the original limits of 
the town of Westerly), through their allies or confederates, the 
Niantics ; the island of Rhode Island and Shawomet. By this 
coalition, however, the sceptre of the Narragansetts virtually 
extended to the Pawcatuck. After King Phillip's war these tf ibes 
have all been spoken of under the title of Narragansetts, al- 
.though the Niantics stood aloof from this conspiracy, and there- 
fore suffered but little in that bloody" campaign. 

The Indians on the reservation from the first were largely 
Niantics, and their name should have been retained. The Nar- 
ragansetts subsisted by hunting and fisljing, and partially by 
agriculture. Their lands for eight or ten miles distant from the 
sea-shore were cleared of wood, and on these praries they raised 
Indian corn in abundance, and furnished the early settlers of 
Plymouth and Massachusetts with large quantities for subsistence. 
They were a strong, generous and brave race. They were al- 
Avays more civil and courteous to the English than any of the 
other tribes. Their kind and hospitable treatment of the immi- 
grants to Rhode Island, and the welcome reception they gave our 
persecuted ancestors should endear their name to us all. 

In civilization the Narragansetts were in advance of their 
neighbors. Hutchinson says that they were the most curious 
coiners of wampumpeage, and supplied other nations with their 
pendants and bracelets, and also with tobacco pipes of stone ; 
some blue and some white. They furnished the earthen vessels 
and pots for cookery and other domestic uses. They were con- 


sidered a commercial people, and not only began a trade with 
the English for goods for their own consumption, but soon learned 
to supply other distant nations at advanced prices, and to receive 
beaver and other furs in exchange, upon which they made a 
profit also. Various articles of their skillful workmanship have 
been found from time to time, such as stone axes, tomahawks, 
mortars, pestles, pipes, arrowheads, peage, etc. 

Of their integrity, virtue and morals, Roger Williams, after a 
residence of six years among them, says : " I could never discern 
that excess of scandalous sins among them which Europe 
abounded with. Drunkenness and gluttony they know what 
sins they be, and though they have not so much to restrain them 
as the English have, yet a man never hears of such crimes among 
them as robberies, murders, adulteries, etc." 

Updike says : " The government of the Narragansetts appears 
to have been a patriarchial despotism. On the arrival of the 
English there were two chief sachems — Canonicus and Mian- 
tinomo — and under them several subordinate ones. The different 
small tribes under the several sub-sachems, composed the great 
Narragansett nation. The succession to chief authority was 
generally preserved in the same family. The sub-sachems oc- 
cupied the soil, and were reinoved from it at the will and pleasure 
of their chiefs." 

The Narragansett country became circumscribed as Canonicus 
and Miantinomo sold off their territory. After the sale of Provi- 
dence to Williams, the island of Rhode Island to Coddington, 
and Shawomet or old Warwick to Gorton, and their respective 
associates, those territories virtually ceased to be called Narra- 
gansett. After East Greenwich was erected into a township in 
1667 the name of Narragansett was circumscribed to the limits 
of the present county of Washington, bounding northerh- on 
Hunt's river and the south line of the county of Kent. 

In speaking of their gods Denison says : " Of the religion of 
the aborigines of Rhode Island, Roger Williams, their intimate 
friend, in a letter under date of Feb. 28, 1638 (new style), says, 
' They have plenty of gods, or divine powers ; the Sun, Moone, 
Fire, Water, Earth, the Deere, the Beare, &c. ... I broiight 
home lately from the Narrhiggansicks | Narragansetts] the names 
of thirty-eight of their gods, — all they could remember.' They 
made no images ; their divinities were ghosts ; they were ex- 


treme spiritualists. Every element and material and object had 
its ruling spirit,— called a ' god ' or ' manitou.' These divinities 
seemed ever passionate and engaged in war with each other ; 
hence the passionate and warlike character of the worshipers. 
They adored, not intelligence and virtue, but power and re- 

" Every person was believed to be under the influence of some 
spirit, good or evil, — that is, weak or strong, — to further the per- 
son's desires. These spirits or manitous inhabited different ma- 
terial forms, or dwelt at times in the air. The symbolic signa- 
tures employed by sachems and chiefs in signing public deeds, 
represented in many cases the forms inhabited by their guardian 
or inspiring spirits ; these were bows, arrows, birds, fishes, beasts, 
reptiles and the like. 

" Yet the Indians had their superior gods, — one of good and 
one of evil. They held a tradition that their chief divinity, 
Kautantowit, made the first human pair from a stone ; but, being 
displeased with them, destroyed them, and made a second pair 
from a tree, from which last pair all mankind have descended. 
Such tradition seems to contain an allusion to Eden and the 
flood. The story not unlikely was brought by their fathers from 

" Roger Williams says, 'They had many strange relations bf 
one Wetucks, a man that wrought great miracles amongst them, 
and walked upon the waters, &c., with some kind of broken re- 
semblance to the .Sonne of God.' They believed that Kautanto- 
wit resided far away to the southwest, in the land of soft winds, 
summer warmth, perennial fruits and prolific hunting grounds. 
The highest hope of the Indian, at his death, was that he might 
safely reach Kautantowit's sunny fields. But they held that the 
grossly wicked, cowards, liars, thieves, murderers and traitors 
would forever wander in regions of coldness, barrenness and 

" The two great divinities among the Pequots were Kitchtau, 
the author of good, and Hobamocho, the author of evil. It is 
reporied that on great and urgent occasions they offered human 
sacrifices. The report should have the favor of a doubt. It is 
not known that they had altars capable of such a use. It is not 
at all probable that such sacrifices were ever offered on the soil 
of Mi.squamicut or within the bounds of Rhode Island." 

6 history of washington and kent counties. 

Confirmatory Deed of Roger Williams and His Wife, of 
Lands Transferred kv Him to His Associates, rx the 
Year 1638. 

" Be it known unto all men by these Presents, that I, Roger 
Williams, of the Towne of Providence, in the Narragansett Bay, 
in New England, having in the yeare one thousand six hundred 
and thirty-four, and in the yeare one thousand six hundred and 
thirty-five, had several! treaties with Conanicusse and Mian- 
tonome, the chief sachems of the Narragansetts, and in the end 
purchased of them the lands and meadows upon the two ffresh 
rivers called Mooshassick and Wanasquatucket ; the two said 
sachems having by a deed under their hands, two yeares after 
the sale thereof, established and conffirmed the boundes of these 
landes from the river ffields of Pawtuckqut and the great hill of 
Neotaconconitt on the northwest, and the towne of Moshapauge 
on the west, notwithstanding I had the frequent promise of 
Miantenomy, my kind friend, that it should not be land that I 
should want about these bounds mentioned, provided that I satis- 
fied the Indians there inhabiting, I having made covenantes of 
peaceable neighborhood with all the sachems and natives round 
about us. And having, in a sense of God's merciful providence 
unto me in my distresse, called the place Providence, I desired 
it might be for a shelter for persons distressed of conscience ; 
I then, considering the condition of divers of my distressed 
countrymen, I communicated my said purchase unto my loving 
ffriends John Throckmorton, William Arnold, William Harris, 
Strikely Westcott, John Greene, senior, Thomas Olney, senior, 
Richard Waterman and others, who then desired to take shelter 
here with me, and in succession unto so many others as we should 
receive into the fellowship and societye enjoying and disposing 
of the said purchase ; and besides the flfirst that were admitted, 
our towne records declare that afterwards wee received Chad 
Brown, William ffield, Thomas Harris, sen'r, William Wicken- 
den, Robert Williams, Gregory Dexter, and others, as our towne 
booke declares. And whereas, by God's merciful! assistance, I 
was the procurer of the purchase, not by monies nor payment, 
the natives being so shy and jealous that monies could not doe 
it ; but by that language, acquaintance, and favour with the na. 
fives, and other advantages, which it pleased God to give me, 
and also bore the charges and venture of all the gratuetyes which 
I gave to the great sachems, and other sachems and natives round 


about us, and lay ingaged for a loving and peaceable neighbor- 
hood with them, all to my great charge and travele ; it was, there- 
fore, thought by some loving ffriends, that I should receive some 
loving consideration and gratuitye ; and it was agreed between 
us, that every person that should be admitted into the ffellowship 
of injoying landes and disposing of the purchase, should pay 
thirtye shillinges into the public stock ; and fhrst about thirtye 
poundes should be paid unto myselfe by thirty shillings a person, 
as they were admitted. This sum I received in love to my 
ffriends ; and with respect to a towne and place of succor for the 
distressed as aforesaid, I doe acknowledge the said sum and pay- 
ment as ffuU satisffaction. And whereas, in the year one thou- 
sand six hundred and thirtye seaven, so called, I delivered the 
deed subscribed by the two aforesaid chiefe sachems, so much 
thereof as concerneth the aforementioned landes ffrom myselfe 
and my heirs unto the whole number of the purchasers, with all 
my poweres, right and title therein, reserving only unto myselfe 
one single share equall unto any of the rest of that number, I 
now againe, in a more fformal wa}', under my hand and seal, 
conffirm my fformer resignation of that deed of the landes afore- 
said, and bind myselfe, my heirs, my executors, my administra- 
tors and assignes, never to molest any of the said persons already 
received or hereafter to be received into the societye of pur- 
chasers as aforesaid ; but they, theire heires, executors, adminis- 
trators and assignes, shall at all times quietly and peaceably in joy 
the premises and every part thereof ; and I do ffurther, by these 
presents, binde myselfe, my heirs, my exectitors, my administra- 
tors and assignes, never to lay claime nor cause any claime to be 
laid, to any of the landes aforementioned, or unto any part or 
parcell thereof, more than unto mine owne single share, by vir- 
tue or pretence of any former bargaine, sale or mortgage, what- 
soever, or joyntures, thirdes or intails made by me the said Roger 
Williams, or of any other person, either for, by, through or under 
me. In wittnesse thereof, I have hereunto sett my hand and 
seale this twenty eth day of December in the present year one 
thousand six hundred and sixty one. 

" Roger Williams, [l. s.J 

" Signed, sealed and delivered, in presence of us, 

" Thomas Smith, 
" Joseph Carpextek. 


" I, Mary Williams, wife unto Roger Williams, doe assent unto 
the premises. Wittness my hand this twentyeth day of Decem- 
ber, in the present year one thousand six hundred and sixty-one. 
"The marke of M. W. Mary Williams. 
" Acknowledged and subscribed before me. 

" WlLLlAAF Ffeild, General/ Assistant." 

The lands transferred by Roger Williams to his associates were 
subsequently divided into what are called " home lots " and 
"six acre lots." In the clerk's office of the city of Providence is 
a revised list of lands and meadows as they were originally lot- 
ted, from the beginning of the plantation of Providence in the 
Narragansett Bay, in New England, unto the then inhabitants 
of the said plantation. The first in order are the "home lots," 
beginning at the " Mile end Cove," at the south end of the town, 
between Fox Point and Wickenden street. This book gives a 
list of fifty-four persons who " received their lots with their loca- 
tion." Here we find the founders of the state of Rhode Island. 
Their names are perpetuated and transmitted to us by pages of 
various histories ; by inheritance of their numerous descend- 
ants ; and finally, by being connected with the establishment of 
a colony among the Indians of North America, and the toleration 
of religious liberty. 

A Partial List of the Fifty-four Nanh:s. 

Roger Williams, William Wickenden, 

William Harris, John Lippitt, 

John Greene, Robert West, 

William Arnold, Joshua Winsor, 

John Smith, Thomas Hopkins, 

Gregory Dexter, John Sweet, 

Chad Brown, Edward Hart, 

Daniel Abbott, William Man, 

Thomas Angell, Francis Weston, 

William Reynolds, Richard Scott, 

Thomas Olney, Robert Cole, 

William Carpenter, Thomas James. 

Dep(.)Sitk)N of Roger AVilliams Rela'itve to this Purchase 
FR(_)M the Indians. 

"Narraliaxsett, 18 June, l(i82. 
" I testify, as in the presence of the all-making and all-seeino- 
' -od, that about fifty years since, I coming into this Narragansett 


country, I found a great contest between three sachems, two (to 
wit, Cononicus and Miantonomy) were against Ousamaquin on 
Plymouth side ; I was forced to travel between them three, to 
pacify, to satisfy all their and their dependents' spirits of my 
honest intentions to live peaceably by them. I testify, that it 
was the general and constant declaration, that Cannonicus, his 
father, he had three sons, whereof Connonicus was the heir, and 
his youngest brother's son Miantinomy (because of his youth), 
was his Marshal and Executioner, and did nothing without his 
unkle Cannonicus' consent. And therefore I declare to posterity, 
that were it not for the favor that God gave me with Cannonicus, 
none of these parts, no, not Rhode Island, had been purchased 
or obtained, for I never got any thing out of Cannonicus but by 
gift. I also profess that, being inquisitive of what root the title 
or denomination Nahiganset should come, I heard that Nahigan- 
set was so named from, a little Island' between Puttisquomscut 
and Musquomacuk on the sea, and fresh water side. I went on 
purpose to see it, and about the place called Sugar Loaf Hill, I 
saw it, and was within a pole of it, but could not learn why it 
was called Nohiganset. I had learnt that the Massachusetts was 
so called from the Blue Hills, a little Island thereabout ; and 
Cannonicus' father and anchestors living in those southern parts, 
transferred and brought their authority and name into those 
northern parts all along by the sea side, as appears by the great 
destruction of wood all along near the sea side ; and I desire 
posterity to see the gracious hand of the Most Pligh (in whose 
hands is all hearts), that when the hearts of my countrymen and 
friends and brethren failed me, his infinite wisdom and luerits 
stirred up the barbarous heart of Cannonicus to love me as his 
son to his last gasp, by which means I had not only Miantonomy 
and all the Cowesit sachems my friends, but Ousamaquin also, 
who, because of my great friendship with him at Plymouth, and 
the authority of Cannonicus, consented freely (being also well 
gratified by me) to the Governor Winthrop's and my enjoyment 
of Prudence, yes, of Providence itself, and all the other lands I 
procured of Cannonicus which were upon the point, and in effect 
whatsoever I desired of him. And I never denyed him nor Mian- 
tinomy whatever they desired of me as to goods or gifts, or use 
of my boats or pinnace, and the travels of my own person day 
and night, which, though men know not, nor care to know, yet 


the all-seeing eye hath seen it, and his all-powerful hand hath 
helped me. Blessed be his holy name to eternity. 

" R. Williams." 

The Pcquot Indians occupied the neighborhood of New London, 
Groton and Stonington, with the Mohegans on the north of them. 
They came originally from the head waters of the Hudson. 
They supplanted the old Niantic tribe and were the most war- 
like and cruel of all the New England tribes. Sassacus, their 
sachem, had a strong fort between New London and the Mystic 
river. Their bows and battle axes were a terror in all the land. 
The terrible murders perpetrated by them and the awful tortures 
which they inflicted upon their English captives were sure warn- 
ings to the white people that something must be speedily done to 
check them or the colonists would be totally annihilated. Acting 
upon the maxim that to the victors belong the spoils, they claimed 
even the region of the Misquamicut, and hence aimed to expel 
the Eastern Niantics. The disputed territory now became the 
theatre of invasions and struggles. In April, 1632, the Pequots 
met the united Narragansetts and after a fierce struggle extended 
their territory ten miles east of the Pawtucket. This claim was 
continued after the first settlement of the' whites, and was the 
occasio;i of the disputed boundaries between the colonies. 

On the first day of May, 1637, the general court of Connecticut 
assembled at Hartford, declared war against the Pequots, raised 
an army of ninety men, and appointed Captain John IMason com- 
mander-in-chief of the expedition. The soldiers were enlisted 
and sailed from Hartford May 10th, 1037, accompanied byL^ncas 
and seventy friendly Indians. The little fleet, which consisted 
of three vessels, met adverse winds and finally sailed into Narra- 
gansett ba5^ Here on Tuesday evening, Alay 23d, the gallant 
little band landed, and immediately set out for the residence of 
Miantinomo. Mason marched the next morning, Alay 24th, for the 
Pequot fort. As he proceeded on his journey he was reinforced by a 
large party of Narragansetts sent on by Miantinomo. Their line 
of march from Narragansett was along the old Indian path trav- 
eled from time immemorial by the savages, and was on the great 
highway for all travel from Boston and the north and east to 
Connecticut and New York, the route being near the present 
Post road, through Tower Hill, Wakefield, Charlestown and 
Westerly. The next evening Mason reached Niantic fort. 

This fort was built on Fort Neck, which is about twelve miles 


to the east of Westerly, and perhaps eighty rods to the south- 
west of Cross' mills. The land has steep laanks on the south side, 
next to the water, and it projects into Pawaget or Charlestown 
pond. The remains of the old fortress are still visible, with 
-traces of ditches and a wall of stone and earth. It was torn 
down by the white people, and the larger part of the stones used 
in building a wall to inclose the land. This fort contained three- 
fourths of an acre, and appears in the form of a square. There 
were three bastions, twenty feet square, one on each of three 
angles or corners, which completely covered the , ditches and 
walls of the fort. It appears that the main entrance to the fort 
was reached at the south corner near the pond, and the only 
corner without a bastion. On the 24th of May, 1637, while Mason 
and his troops halted here, it was then garrisoned by a large 
body of the Niantics, who would not allow any of Mason's men 
to enter the fortification. Undoubtedly it was a strong and well 
fortified position. Here then, is one particular instance on 
record in which the condition of the Niantic fort was known to 
the English. 

This fort Mason surrounded until morning to prevent any 
treachery of the Niantics. After a fatiguing march of twelve 
miles he reached the fording place in Pawcatuck river. After 
dinner Mason continued his march on to Taugwonk in Stoning- 
ton. Here he halted and learned for the first time that the Pe- 
quots had two very strong forts. He, however, resolved to move 
on and attack the fort at Mystic. The guides brought them to 
the fort two hours before light May 26th, 1637. Mason went for- 
ward, and when within a rod of the fort was discovered by a Pe- 
quot, who cried out, "Owanux ! Owanux!" (Englishmen! Eng- 
lishmen !) A hand to hand contest now ensued. Wigwams and 
fortress were set on fire and the destruction was terrible beyond 
description. As the Indians shot forth from their burning cells 
they were shot or cut to pieces by the English. The violence of 
the flames, the clashing and roar of arms, the shrieks and yells 
of the savages in the fort and without, exhibited an awful 

After the termination of this engagement the authorities de- 
cided to exterminate the ruthless and barbarous Pequots wholly, 
and on the 25th of June the Connecticut troops, together with a 
company from Massachusetts, proceeded westward, but of their 
pursuit by the English and Narragansett and Mohegan tribes, 


who were friendly to the settlers, we have nothing further to say 
here except to remind our readers of the methods then in vogue 
by the United Colonies. Firstly, having used the Narragansetts 
and Mohegans as a scourge to the Pequots in exterminating them 
by killing two thousand and capturing one thousand more, and* 
driving the remainder west to the Hudson river, where they were 
totally destroyed by the Mohawks, they appropriated their lands 
and taxed their allies for their services. They then, with the help 
of the Mohegans, whipped the Narragansetts, and imposed a fine 
upon their conquered foes of two thousand fathoms of wampum, 
an amount utterly beyond their ability to pay, which involved 
the forfeiture of their lands. Then thirdly, they caused the 
wiping out of the Mohegans, when their possessions were found 
to be more valuable than their services. All of these facts will 
give thought for study and reflection for the ambitious student 
of Indian history. As we proceed these facts will become more 
apparent, recollecting in the meanwhile that the bone of conten- 
tion which most occupied the attention of that generation was 
the jurisdiction and ownership of King's Province or Narra- 
gansett country, now Washington county, which was claimed by 
Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. 

The Warwick Purchase. — On January 12th, 1642, the sale of 
Warwick was made by Miantinomo, chief sachem of Narragan- 
setts, to Randall Holden, John Green, John AVickes, Francis 
Weston, Samuel Gorton, Richard Waterman, John Warner, Rich- 
ard Carder, Samson Shotton, Robert Porter and William Wud- 
dal. The deed was made with the marks of Miantinomo and of 
Pomham, sachem of Shawomet, affixed to it. 

Nawashawsuc, an under sachem of Massasoit, also claimed a 
right to this tract. Sacconoco, a sachem of the country, had in 
1641 made a deed to William Arnold, Robert Cole and AVilliam 
Carpenter, and in 1044 he deeded a considerable tract to Benedict 
Arnold. These four persons, having submitted themselves and 
their lands to Massachusetts, caused much dispute between Mas- 
sachusetts and Rhode Island. The Indians and the settlers Gor- 
ton and his associates had previously incurred the displeasure of 
Massachusetts and they were therefore ready to interfere. Pom- 
ham and vSacconoco were induced to make a formal submission 
of themselves and their lands also to that state, but the dispute 
turned upon the question whether or not the Shawomet or War- 
wick tribe was independent, and if so the sale from Miantinomo 


was void. From Roger Williams' opinions it seems that the 
Warwick tribe was subject to the Narragansett nation, though 
Miantinomo seems to have been unable to prove their depen- 
dence satisfactorily to the Massachusetts authorities, who would 
not become satisfied because of the interference of their claim 
from Pomham. 

In this dispute Massachusetts showed her hatred toward Mian- 
tinomo because of his testimony, and also an evident disposition 
to retard the growth and prosperity of Rhode Island. For the 
part Miantinomo took in this affair was the cause of his being 
cruelly put to death when he fell into the hands of the Massa- 
chusetts authorities in his war with the ^Mohegans, although the 
authorities gave sanctimonious reasons for the deed. Gorton 
also suffered considerably. He was arrested, carried to Boston, 
tried and confined in irons for a considerable time. 

May 19th, 1643, a confederation of Massachusetts, Plymouth, 
Connecticut and New Haven, for mutual defense, was made to 
protect themselves against the Indians. They refused to admit 
Rhode Island into the confederacy. This body was named the 
" Commissioners of the United Colonies." In 1643 Massachusetts 
procured an order from Cromwell and from the Earl of Warwick 
for government of Narragansett. On jNIarch 17th, 1643-4, Roger 
Williams procured a patent for Rhode Island, Providence Plan- 
tations and Narragansett, from the Earl of Warwick, governor 
and admiral of the Plantation and the other Lords Commission- 
ers of the plantations, signed by all. The patent includes to the 
west the Narragansett country " the whole tract extending 
about twenty-five English miles into the Pequot river and coun- 
try." This tract was occupied by citizens from various parts of 
the state. During this same year (1643) the animosity which had 
long existed between the Narragansetts and Mohegans broke 
out into open war. There had been an attempt made to assas- 
sinate Uncas by a Pequot and it was alleged that Miantinomo en- 
couraged it. Miantinomo encouraged the Bay folks to send this 
Pequot to Uncas for punishment, but on his way home from a 
visit to Boston the Pequot was put to death, and it was said Mi- 
antinomo was the author of this also. 

A quarrel having arisen between Sequassen, a sachem on the 
Connecticut river, and Uncas, the latter made war upon him, 
whereupon Miantinomo assisted Sequassen, being his friend and 
relative. Miantinomo took with him one thousand men into this 


war, having previously, according to his agreement, given notice 
to Connecticut and Massachusetts of his intention to make war 
on Uncas. The governor of Massachusetts answered "that if 
Uncas had done him or his friends wrong and would not give 
satisfaction we should leave him to take his own course." They 
met. Uncas had four hundred men. A battle ensued and Mi- 
antinomo was taken, it is said, by the treachery of two Indians. 
A heavy suit of armor which Gorton had lent him is said to have 
embarrassed his motions and rendered his capture less difficult. 
They killed about thirty and caused the rest to flee. Among the 
wounded were two of Canonicus's sons and a brother of Mianti- 
nomo. Hubbard says that Uncas had, previous to the battle, 
offered to decide the dispute by single combat. 

After the battle Uncas carried Miantinomo prisoner to Hart- 
ford, and at his own request left him in custody of the English 
authorities there. Miantinomo's conduct while at Hartford 
seems to show that he indulged an expectation (doomed to end 
in disappointment) that he would receive more honorable treat- 
ment from the English than he could expect from his captor. 
He gave information to Major Haines, the magistrate of Connec- 
ticut, of a design of the Narragansetts to seize some of the com- 
missioners and hold them as hostages for his safety. 

The commissioners of the colonies met at Boston, September, 
1643, and decided that Miantinomo should be put to death. They 
proceeded, as was the custom of the Puritan fathers, to take 
counsel of the elders of the church, and this, with many other 
deeds of a doubtful character, passed under the sanction and the 
cloak of religion. 

The reasons assigned for the death of Miantinomo were these : 
(1). It was clearly discovered there was a general conspiracy 
among the Indians, and Miantinomo was at its head. (2). He 
was a tu.rbu]ent and proud spirit, and would never be at rest. 
(3). He had promised to send to Uncas the Pequot who had at- 
tempted to assassinate him ; he had put him to death on his way 
home. (4). He beat one of Pomham's men, took away his wam- 
pum, and bid him go and complain to Massachusetts. The com- 
missioners therefore ordered that Uncas should put him to death, 
and that two Englishmen should go with him to see the execu- 
tion done. In answer to the above charges against the great 
Narragansett chief, Potter says : " The first, that Miantinomo 
was at the head of an Indian conspiracy against the English, can 


be refuted from their own accounts and admissions. To the 
second, it might have been good policj- to have got rid of so tur- 
bulent, proud spirited and restless a rival, but we see no justice 
in it. The third lacks proof, and even if proved, admits of ex- 
planation. The fourth is absolutely too trifling to be noticed at 

According to the decision Uncas carried Miantinomo to the 
spot where he had been taken, supposed to be Sachem's plain, 
and the instant they arrived there one of Uncas' men split his 
head open from behind, killing him at once. The Mohegans 
buried him at the place of his execution, and erected a great heap 
or pillar on his grave. Trumbull relates that Uncas cut a large 
piece out of his shoulder and ate it in savage triumph. Sachem's 
plain is in the eastern part of Norwich. 

This was the end of Miantinomo, the most potent prince the 
people of New England ever had any concern with ; and this 
was the reward he received for assisting them seven years before 
in the wars with the Pequots. Surely a Rhode Island man may 
be permitted to mourn his unhappy fate and drop a tear on the 
ashes of Miantinomo and his uncle Canonicus, who were the 
best friends and greatest benefactors the colony ever had. 
They kindly received, fed and protected the first settlers of it 
when they were in distress, and were strangers and exiles, and 
all mankind elsewhere their enemies, and by this kindness to 
them drew upon themselves the resentment of the neighboring 
colonies and hastened the untimely end of the young king. 

Miantinomo was a very good personage, of tall stature, subtle 
and cunning in his contrivements, as well as haughty in his de- 
signs. Pessicus, the new sachem (aged about twenty), was Mian- 
tinomo's brother. He desired to make war on Uncas, and sent 
presents to Massachusetts to secure permission for that purpose, 
but received negative answers to both requests, and his presents 
were returned. He was told that they would stand by Uncas. 

Canonicus was an old man at the time of the first settlement 
in Rhode Island. He received and protected the first settlers, 
and always continued their friend. In his later years he had 
many gloomy fears and forebodings as to the future state of his 
nation. This wise and peaceful prince was succeeded by his son, 

Henry E. Turner, M.D., of Newport, in a paper read before 
the Historical Society, February 27th, 1877, in speaking of the 


course pursued by the United Colonies after they had extermin- 
ated the Pequots, says : 

" T'le next step necessary was to find or create a pretext for 
the like treatment of the other tribes ; and the Narragansetts 
having committed the indiscretion (to use a mild phrase) of giv- 
ing harbor to the God-defying refugees from the just displeasure 
of offended Massachusetts, were selected as the first victims of 
the series. 

" The United Colonies, accordingly, entered into a league with 
Uncas, as chief sachem of the Mohegans (though there is reason 
to believe that only their patronage made him so), under which 
they encouraged him to perpetrate annoyances and encroach- 
ments on the Narragansetts, denying them, at the same time, 
any resort to their traditional methods of redress ; and whenever 
any complaint was made to them by either Uncas or ]\liantonomi 
or any adherent of either, their decision was, invariable', adverse 
to the Narragansett, and he was enjoined to good behaviour on 
pain of punishment and the displeasure of the United Colonies, 
they being the allies and friends of Uncas, as they constantl)- 
took occasion to promulgate. Any person who will examine 
the records of the Commissioners of the United Colonies im- 
partially will endorse the accuracy of this statement ; the in- 
stances are too numerous for quotation or even for special refer- 

" The fruits of this policy were very soon apparent ; the Nar- 
ragansetts, denied justice by the English and prohibited from 
any retribution on the Mohegans for wrongs suffered from them, 
according to their traditional customs, were provoked into such 
acts toward the Mohegans as made them amenable to English 
ideas of justice, and afforded the pretexts which the English 
sought. The United Colonies accordingly, despite the remon- 
strances of Roger Williams, who knew all the parties and ap- 
preciated the truthful and manly character of the Narragansett 
chief and the wily and treacherous disposition of Uncas, united 
with the Mohegans in a war on the Narragansetts, which culmi- 
nated in the prostration of the Narragansett power and the cap- 
ture of Miantonomi. 

" After the mockery of a trial by the English, at Hartford, 
Miantonomi was given up to Uncas for execution, and the Nar- 
ragansett tribe was fined 2,000 fathoms of peage, an amount 
utterly beyond their ability to pay. This levy was founded on 


the pretext principle of making the conquered pay the expenses 
of all parties. 

" To enable the Indians to pay this excessive mulct after their 
resources had been drained by the war, the principal men of the 
conquering party, to wit, John Winthrop, governor of Connecti- 
cut ; Major Humphrey Atherton, Richard Smith, Richard 
vSmith, Jr., Lieutenant William Hudson, of Boston, Ambrose 
Dickenson, of Boston, and John Ticknor, of Nashaway (no doubt), 
out of their generosity toward the poor natives, formed them- 
selves into what we should call a ' Credit Mobilier,' (though they 
probably never heard that phrase), advanced the sum required 
and received therefor deeds of the tract of lands known ever af- 
ter as the Atherton Purchase. One of these was a mortgage of 
course never redeemed." 

For further consideration of this feature of the subject the 
reader is referred to the history of Indians in Kent county. 

The Great Swamp Fight. — After the war between the Narra- 
gansetts and the Mohegans, the English in New England en- 
joyed comparative peace until the year 1671, when they again 
took up arms to revenge the death of one of their countrymen 
who had been inhumanly murdered by an Indian belonging to 
the Nipnet tribe, of which the celebrated Philip, of Mount Hope 
(now Bristol, R. I.), was sachem. 

Philip was sent for by the governor and council, before whom 
he went and made fair promises, but it was soon discovered that 
the wily Indian was playing a deep game, and that he was art- 
fully enticing the red men to rise oi masse against the English . 
and drive them out of the country. Trumbull states : " The 
Narragansetts for this purpose had engaged to raise 4,{)U0 fight- 
ing men." After a series of wars this great trouble culminated 
in the Narragansett Swamp Fight, of which John G. Clarke says: 
" The most important battle with the Indians in New England 
occurred on December 19th, 1675. The Narragansett tribe of 
Indians occupied all southern Rhode Island, and before 1620 held 
sway over all the Indian tribes from the Pawcatuck to the Merri. 
mac river and could muster 5,000 fighting men. 

" King Philip, whose Indian name was Metacom or Pumeta- 
comb, was the son of Massasoit. He was a man of great natural 
ability and sagacity, and foresaw that the time must soon come 
when the white or red men would become the sole possessors of 
the land. He desired to unite all the Indian tribes in New 


England in a war of extermination upon the white men. (_)f this 
the English settlers were informed and to get the first advantage 
and crush the Indian coalition before it became more formidable, 
was the cause of the war of ] 675. Had the English waited until 
the spring of 1676, before they attacked the Indians in their 
stronghold, the result might have been very different. There 
was a tradition that Philip was in the fort at the time of the bat- 
tle but it has since been ascertained that he was many miles 
away at that time. 

" The Narragansetts, anticipating a deadly war, selected as they 
thought a secure place in a great swamp, in the western part of 
what is now South Kingstown, Washington county, R. I., con- 
structed a great number of wigwams, and then collected the 
most of their men, women and children and also large quantities 
of corn and provisions. To destroy this place and kill or scatter 
the Indians was the object of the English. 

"The English army organized for a^ winter campaign, consisted 
of a thousand men under the command of (jeneral John Wins- 
low, governor of Plymouth colony. At a meeting of the Com- 
missioners of the United Colonies held at Boston November 2d, 
167."), war was formerly declared against the Narragansetts. 

"On Sunday December 12th, the army left Providence and 
marched into ' Pomham's Country,' now Warwick, and arrived at 
Smith house, near Wickford on the 13th, and there found their 
vessels had arrived with provisions from Seekonk. On the 14th 
the army moved westward, destroyed an Indian village of one 
hundred and fifty wigwams, killed seven and captured nine In- 
dians. On Thursday December 1 6th, a portion of the army un- 
der Captain Prentice reached Pettaquamscutt, where the Connecti- 
cut troops had arrived, consisting of three hundred English and 
one hundred and fifty Mohegan Indians. 

" The weather was intensely cold. A severe storm set in and 
the snow fell two feet deep. The whole army encamped in an 
open field. On vSunday, December 19th, at an early hour, the 
army took up its march for the Indian fort, not knowing its ex- 
act location. After some circuitous marching (as they said some 
sixteen miles, the distance direct not being more than ten), about 
one o'clock the van of the army reached the vicinity of the fort 
and halted upon rising ground near what is now known as the 
'Babcock house.' Here they captured alone Indian, and com- 
pelled him under pain of death, to guide them to the entrance of 


the fort, not more than half a mile distant. To the mutual sur- 
prise of both parties, the army came suddenly upon the fort, the 
Massachusetts regiment first, Plymouth next and the Connecticut 
troops bringing up the rear. The troops at once opened fire 
■upon those Indians in sight and upon the fort. The attack was 
answered by a volley from the Indians who fied into the fort. 
The so-called fort was located upon an island of five or six acres, 
the surface being not more than three feet above high water 
mark. At the east ran the vShickashem brook, a short distance 
west the Usquepaug river. 

" The island was surrounded by a dense swamp, almost impene- 
trable, except when the surrounding water was frozen, and it is 
probable that the Indians relied mainly upon the swamp to pro- 
tect them, although they had fallen trees around their wigwams, 
with the tops outward, and made a sort of palisade for defense. 
The work does not seem to have been quite completed. 

" The entrance was at the northwest corner, along a fallen tree 
across a run of water. The companies of Captains Davenport 
and Johnson were the first to reach this entrance, and gallantly 
charged over the log into the fort at the head of their companies. 
Johnson fell dead at the log, and Davenport a little within the 
fort. The troops met so heav}'' a fire that they were compelled 
to fall back, and in the .smoke and confusion the English killed 
some'of their own men. At or near the entrance there was said 
to be a block house, from which a galling fire was made upon the 
attacking troops. Captain Church, with a few soldiers, had 
found a weak place in the rear of the fort, which, being attacked, 
diverted the attention of the Indians from the front or entrance. 

"The bloody contest lasted three hours with no decided result. 
The commanding general was advised to set fire to the wigwams, 
of which there were said to be six hundred within the fort. This 
was contrary to the advice of Captain Church, who insisted that the 
battle was practically over, the Indians were retreating, and that 
the English troops could occupy the fort and rest after the long 
and weary march of the morning and the hard fighting, but his 
advice was unheeded, the fire was set, and the whole fort, con- 
taining many wounded men, women and children, beside large 
quantities of provisions, was consumed. 

"While the fort was yet burning the army formed its shattered 
columns, gathering the wounded and as many as possible of the 
dead, and commenced their dreary march back to Wickford, 


being ignorant of the number of their foes in the vicinity, and 
not daring to encamp near the battle field. 

" The English loss was sixty-eight killed and one hundred and 
fifty wounded. Several wounded died on the march, from cold 
and exposure. The Indian loss must have been nearly one 
thousand. This must be classed as one of the most brilliant 
victories in our history, and considering all the difficulties over- 
come, displaying stubborn courage, patient endurance, and dash- 
ing intrepidity not excelled in American warfare." 

The Great Swamp above referred to is situated on the farm 
now owned by John G. Clarke. There is no doubt of the exact 
location of every point above mentioned. Mr. Clarke, who has 
given the subject much consideration, has, he says, plowed up 
charred corn, the relics of the battle, and of which the Indians 
had great quantities stored up for winter use. 

W. F. Tucker, in speaking of the different Indians, thus men- 
tions their sachems : 

The Narragansett Sachems. — Canonicus was the grand sachem 
of the Narragansetts when the whites settled at Plymouth. 
History gives no account of his predecessors. It commences 
with him. He died June 4th, 1647. Miantinomo was his 
nephew, son of his brother, Mascus. Canonicus, in his advanced 
age, admitted Miantinomo into the government, and they ad- 
ministered the sachemdom jointly. In the war between the 
Narragansetts and Mohegans, in 1643, Miantinomo was captured 
by Uncas, the sachem of the Mohegans, and executed. Pessi- 
cus, the brother of Miantinomo, was then admitted sachem with 
Canonicus. He was put to death by the Mohawks, in 1676. 
Canonchet, the son of the brave but unfortunate Miantinomo, 
was the last sachem of the race. He commanded the Indians in 
the Great Swamp fight in 1675. This battle exterminated the 
Narragansetts as a nation. He was captured near the Blackstone 
river, after the war, and executed for the crime of defending his 
country, and refusing to surrender the territory of his ancestors 
by a treaty of peace. It was glory enough for a nation to have 
expired with such a chief. The coolness, fortitude and heroism 
of his fall stands without a parallel in ancient or modern times. 
He was offered life upon the condition that he would treat for 
the submission of his subjects ; his untamed spirit indignantly 
rejected the ignominious proposition. And when he was told 
his sentence was to die, " he .said he liked it well, that he .should 


die before his heart was soft, or he had spoken unworthy of him- 
self." His head was cut off, and sent to Hartford. The rest of 
his body was burnt. This ended the last chief of the Narra- 
gansetts, and with Canonchet the nation was extinguished for- 

Ninigret was the sachem or sagamore of the Niantics, or the 
Westerly tribe, and since the division of that town, now styled 
the Charlestown tribe. Ninigret was tributary to Canonicus, 
Miantinomo and his successors. He was only collaterally re- 
lated to the family of Conanicus, Quaiapen, Ninigret's sister, 
having married Maxanno, the son of Canonicus. The whites 
purchased Ninigret's neutrality, during the Indian war of 1675, 
and for his treachery to his paramount sovereign and his race, 
the "Tribe Land" in Charlestown was allotted to him and his 
heirs forever, as the price of the treason. The Ninigret tribe 
never were the real Narragansetts, whose name they bear. It is 
a libel on their glory and their graves for them to have assumed 
it. Not one drop of the blood of Canonicus, Miantinomo or 
Canonchet ever coursed in the veins of a sachem who could sit 
neuter in his wigwam and hear the guns and see the conflagra- 
tion ascending from the fortress that was exterminating their 
nation forever. Ninigret died soon after the war. From this 
Ninigret, the succeeding Indian sachems were descended. By 
one wife he had a daughter, and by another he had a son, Nini- 
gret, and two daughters ; one of whom is sometimes designated 
as the " Old Queen." On Ninigret's death the first named 
daughter succeeded him, and the ceremonies of her inauguration 
took place at Chemunganock, now known as Shumuncanuc. 
These ceremonies were the presentation of peage and other 
presents, as an acknowledgment of authority ; and sometimes a 
belt of peage was publicly placed on the sachem's head, as an 
ensign of rank. On her death her half brother, Ninigret, suc- 
ceeded. He died somewhere about 1722. His will is dated 1716- 
17. He left two sons, Charles and George Augustus Ninigret. 
The former succeeded as sachem, and dying, left an infant son; 
Charles, who was acknowledged as sachem by a portion of the 
tribe, but the greater portion adhered to George, his uncle, as 
being of pure royal blood. The dispute was encouraged by dif- 
ferent white people, who wished to retain an influence over the 
tribe and to purchase their lands. It seems to have been ended 
only by the death of young Charles. George Augu.stus was ac- 


knowledged as sachem m 1736. He left a widow and three chil- 
dren, Thomas, George and Esther. 

On Thursday, the 6th of September, 1750, the bans of marriage 
being duly published at the church of St. Paul's, in Narragan- 
sett, no objection being made, John Anthony, an Indian man, 
was married to vSarah (^eorge, an Indian woman, the widow and 
dowager queen of George (Augustus) Ninigret, deceased, by Dr. 
McSparran. Thomas (commonly known as King Tom) was born 
in 1736, and succeeded as sachem in July, 1746. While he was 
sachem much of the Indian land was sold, and a considerable 
part of the tribe emigrated to the state of New York and joined 
the Indians there. 

William Kenyon, late of Charlestown, deceased, in a statement 
to Wilkins Updike, says : ' I knew King Tom Ninigret ; he had 
a son named Tom, his only child. He went away and died before 
his father. Tom's brother George having died, the crown de- 
scended to Esther, the next heir. I (continued Mr. Kenyon) saw 
her crowned, over seventy years ago. She was elevated on a 
large rock so that the people might see her ; the council sur- 
rounded her. There were present about twenty Indian soldiers 
with guns. They marched her to the rock. The Indians nearest 
the royal blood, in presence of her councilors, put the crown on 
her head. It was made of cloth, covered with blue and white 
peage. When the crown was put on the soldiers fired a royal 
salute and huzzaed in the Indian tongue. The ceremony was 
imposing, and everything was conducted with great order. Then 
the soldiers waited on her to her house, and fired salutes. There 
were 500 natives present besides others. Queen Esther left one 
son, named George ; he was crowned after the death of his 
mother. I was one of the jury of inquest (continues Air. Kenyon) 
that sat on the body of George. He was about 22 years old when 
he was killed. He was where some persons were cutting trees. 
One tree had lodged against another, and in cutting that one it 
fell and caught against a third, and George, undertaking to 
escape, a sharp knee struck him on the head and killed him ; a 
foot either way would have saved him. No king was ever 
crowned after him, and not an Indian of the whole blood now 
remains in the tribe." 

Thomas Ninigret, who was better known as King Tom, was 
born in 1736, and succeeded as sachem in July, 1746. At the age 


of ten years he was crowned king of the Niantics. He received 
a common school education in England, where he was sent by 
his nation ; and on his return from school he brought a draft of 
a house with him ; and soon after built the structure known as 
the Sachem house, which served him as a dwelling place during 
the remainder of his days. It is commonly reported among the 
people that Thomas Ninigret was a large, fleshy man ; that he 
had an uncommon appetite for strong drink ; and that he became 
a confirmed inebriate toward the last years of his life. His wife, 
and Thomas Ninigret, his only son, left him and emigrated to 
the West. Idleness and intemperance soon reduced him to pov- 
erty and wretchedness. His authority was denied him ; his 
friends deserted him ; and, in brief, the most of his property 
passed out of his hands to cancel his debts. He died some time 
between the second Monday in September, 1769, and the last 
Monday in February, 1770. Very soon after his death a con- 
siderable portion of the tribe lands was sold to defray his ex- 
penses. The King's mansion was purchased by Nathan Kenyon, 
Esq., and from him it descended to James Kenyon, his son, and 
finally to James Nichols Kenyon, his grandson, the present 

Esther Ninigret, the only sister of Thomas Ninigret, married 
Thomas Sachem ; and by him she had a son named George,who met 
with a tragical fate. The coronation of Queen Esther occurred 
as early as 1770, according to the best information that can be 
obtained. The rock on which she was elevated by her friends 
and councilors, preparatory to the reception of the crown, is sit- 
uated about twelve rods to the north of the late Thomas Nini- 
gret's residence. It is an isolated rock, projecting about three 
feet above the ground, well adapted to such occasion ; and it has 
become famous for this event. 

George Sachem, who met a premature death by a tree falling 
upon him, was the son of Queen Esther. The place, which has 
often been pointed out, where he was killed is located about 
sixty rods to the north of the school house pond, and at nearly 
the same distance from the child-crying rocks. It has not been 
learned, from any source, that he was ever crowned, although 
Mr. William Kenyon, of Charlestown, made the assertion many 
years ago. But in his death, when his sun went down to rise no 
more, the nation's last and final hope expired. 


''The Manisscs," says Reverend Mr. Denison, " were the inhabit- 
ants of Manisses, or Block Island. Our first knowledge of these 
seems to present them under the sceptre, or at least as allies, of 
the Niantics, whose fortunes they usually shared. At one time 
they fell under the yoke of the Pequots, but shortly regained 
their liberty, and returned to the protection of the confederated 
Narragansetts and Niantics. This was necessarily a small tribe, 
and never j-enowned for their exploits. 

" The Montimks. — This tribe po.ssessed the east end of :\Ietoac, 
or Long Island. Thev were concerned with the Manisses and 
Niantics chief! v by predatory incursions. They, too, for a time, 
were subject to the grasping Pequots, but finall}^ broke the yoke. 
Their notable sachem was Wyandance. With this king, through 
his sub sachem, or chief, called A.scas.sassatic, the Niantic king 
Ninigret had a war in 1(;(!4. The ilontauks had killed some of 
the Niantics. Ninigret achieved some retaliation. Wyandance 
then inflicted a blow upon Ninigret's men on Block Island, where 
the chiefs had agreed on a friendly visit. Of this feud Roger 
Williams says, ' The cause and root of all the present mischief is 
the pride of the two barbarians, Ascassassatic, the Long Island 
sachem, and Ninigret of the Narragansetts : the former is proud 
and foolish : the latter is proud and fierce.' In this struggle 
Ninigret was the victor. The first settlers of Connecticut pre- 
sumed to take the Long Island Indians under their protection, 
and sent messengers to Ninigret to demand peace. Ninigret an- 
swered, ' The Long Island Indians began the war, killed one of 
my sachem's sons and sixty men. If your governor's son were 
slain and several other men, would you ask coi:nsel of another 
nation how and when to right yourself ?' Against Ninigret was 
sent a force of two hundred and seventy foot and forty horse, 
under Major Willard. As Ninigret secured himself and his men 
in a swamp, after the Indian custom, the expedition was unsuc- 
cessful. Ninigret had a fort, but it was unsuited to meet the 
assault of English forces and arms. The swampy pastures re- 
ferred to were doubtless the cedar swamp near Burden's pond in 

" The manner in which the once numerous Montauks were 
reduced to the humiliating necessity of seeking the protection 
of the planters of Connecticut, has been transmitted to us by 
tradition. In the bitter feud existing between Wyandance and 


Ninigret, both tribes made preparations for aggressive move- 
ments. On both sides secrecy was coupled with energy. Each 
tribe intended to secure a victory by surprise. It so occurred 
that both forces started for attack on the same night, a still, 
moonlight night of Indian summer. The savage fleets of log 
canoes were silently, swiftly speeding their way across the foot 
of the Sound. The moon was high and clear in the southwest, 
and its beams were hence so reflected by the glassy waters that 
the Niantic braves discovered the approaching Montauk fleet, 
while themselves remained unseen. Instantly Ninigret ordered 
his force to silently and speedily fall back to their own shore 
near Watch hill, where, hauling their canoes from the beach into 
concealed positions, they posted themselves in ambush over the 
sedgy and bushy banks to await the enemy. On came the in- 
vading host, all unconscious that the reflected moonbeams were 
revealing their motions and the place of their landing. Hushed 
and hopeful they struck the beach, hauled their fleet above the 
tide-marks, and were about to form in order for their march and 
marauding. The Niantics now rose and rushed upon the in- 
vaders like a tempest. The savage work was short and sanguin- 
ary. Scarce a remnant of the Montauk host escaped. But Nini- 
gret did not relinquish his contemplated invasion. Following up 
his success, he embarked for Metoac, where, finding the tribe of 
Wyandance unprepared and powerless, he greatly weakened 
them by slaughter and devastation. He returned with much 
booty, especially wampum and shells to be carved into wampum, 
for Montauk was regarded as an El Dorado. 

" We have noticed that for a time the Manisses were under 
the Pequot sceptre. During this period tradition informs us of a 
war between them and the Narragansetts, in the progress of 
which a princess of the Narragansetts or Niantics was taken 
prisoner and transported to the island. She was redeemable at 
a great price. The manner of her redemption linked the event 
with the history of the whites. Thomas Stanton, the celebrated 
Indian interpreter, by leave of the Connecticut colony, had set 
up a trading-house near the ford of the Pawcatuck to obtain furs 
and skins of the natives. He had a large quantity of Indian 
money. The price demanded for the redemption of the captured 
princess was so great that the natives were obliged to apply to 
Mr. Stanton for wampum. For the requisite fathoms of this coin 
the Indian authorities gave to Mr. Stanton a tract of land now in 


the township of Charlestown. The captive was ransomed and 
brought home from Manisses with great ceremony and rejoicing. 
Upon his lands thus obtained Mr. vStanton settled ; at least, his 
third son, Joseph, from whom the Rhode Island branch of the 
family are said to have descended. The event of the capture 
must not have been far from 1665." 



Situation.— Trading Houses.— Boundary Lines.— The Colonial Controversy.— Al- 
tercations with Plymouth and Connecticut.— Petitions to the Throne.— The 
Charter of 1663.— Roger Williams' Letter.— The Trouble with Connecticut.— 
Meeting of the Commissioners.— The New Boundary Lines. — The King's 
Province.— The Letter to the King.— Decision of the King's Commissioners. 
—Final Settlement of the Difficulty.— The Palatine Light.— The King's High- 
way.— The Dark Day.— Slavery and the Slave Trade.— Lake Narragansett 
and other places. 


'^ ^ WASHINGTON county lies wholly within what was for- 
merly called the Narragansett country. The extent of this 
territory, its early settlement, the claims of other colon- 
ies to its territory and the controversies relative to its possession 
and jurisdiction, its erection by the king into a distinct and sov- 
ereign government by the style of the King's Province, and its 
final reunion, form a subject that falls within our province and 
will be considered in the following pages. 

The Narragansett country was anciently bounded northerly as 
far as the present boundary of Rhode Island extends and how 
much farther is not now known ; northeasterly by the Blackstone 
river, easterly by the Narragansett bay, including the islands, 
and by the Seekonk river ; southerly by the Atlantic Ocean and 
westerly by Pawcatuck river. 

This was the territory inhabited by the Narragansett Indians. 
The Wampanoags, Nipmucs and other tribes of Indians more 
easterly and northerly, were tributaries to them, but threw off 
their allegiance after the arrival of the English. Of all the 
tribes between Boston and the Hudson river the Narragansetts 
were probably the most numerous. Roger Williams says they 
could raise five thousand fighting men, and Brinley says that 
they numbered thirty thousand men. Roger Williams observes 
when speaking of their population and settlement : " A man 
shall come to twenty towns, some bigger, .some le.sser, it may be 
a dozen in twenty miles travel." 


At the time of the settlement of this country by the English, 
Canonicus and Miantinomo were the ruling sachems of the Nar- 
ragansett Indians. After the sale of Providence to Williams, 
the island of Rhode Island to Coddington and Shawomet or old 
Warwick to Gorton and their respective associates, those territor- 
ies virtually ceased to be called Narragansett. And after East 
Greenwich was conveyed and erected into a township in 1667, 
the name of Narragansett was circumscribed to the limits of the 
present county of Washington, bounding northerly on Hunt's 
river and on the soiith line of the county of Kent. 

The first settlements in the state were by Roger Williams at 
Providence in 1636, by Coddington at Portsmouth in 1638, and 
by Richard Smith at Wickford in Narragansett, in 1639. The 
three trading houses of .Smith, Williams and Wilcox were 
erected in 1642-3. As the power of the Indians became weak- 
ened from the increased settlements and intrusions of the whites, 
the question of the Narragansett country became a subject of 
avaricious contention. 

In 1631, Connecticut obtained her first patent, bounding them 
east on the Narragansett river, which they contended was what 
is now called Seekonk or Blackstone river. 

The Rhode Island patent obtained in 1643, bounded her on the 
north and northeast by Massachusetts, east and southeast by 
Plymouth, south by the ocean, west and northwest by the Nar- 
ragansetts, the whole tract extending about twenty-five English 
miles unto the Pequot river or country. The boundaries being 
loose and undefined by particular designated names or places, 
the geography being hardly emerged into any tolerable light, as 
Updike says, " that instead of ascertaining their limits on earth 
they fixed their boundaries in the Heavens." 

From this uncertainty of designation a controversy soon arose 
between the two colonies, respecting the charter jurisdiction of 
the Narragansett country. The settlements under the respective 
colonies were disputed, various and serious disturbances ensued, 
mingled with a bitter and acrimonious correspondence enforcing 
their respective titles. As soon as the town of Westerly, then 
called Misquamicut, began to be occupied by the whites, its jvir- 
isdiction fell into dispute. One ground of the disputes dated 
back to the Indian wars. The Pequots claimed posses.sion on 
the east side -of the PaM';catuck, and Massachusetts claimed the 
Pequot country by right of conquest, and when erecting South- 


erton (now Stonington) into a township they induded a section 
of Misquamicut (now Westerly) within its limits. In consequence 
of this claim by the Massachusetts colony, when Southerton was 
given up to Connecticut and named Stonington, Connecticut main- 
tained not only the old claim of conquest from Massachusetts 
formerly, but taking advantage of the loose and indefinite 
boundary lines between the contesting colonies, pushed their 
claims of jurisdiction from Narragansett river to Narragansett 
bay. Reverend Frederick Denison, A. M., in " Westerly and its 
Witnesses," thus plainly states the difficulty : " When Souther- 
ton was given up to Connecticut and named Stonington, Connec- 
ticut maintained not only the old claim of conquest from Massa- 
chusetts and the further claim of actual occupation, but taking 
advantage of the phraseology of the charters of Rhode Island 
and Connecticut, which named Narragansett river as the bound- 
ary between the two colonies, pushed the claim of jurisdiction 
to Narragansett bay. It was afterward decided that by Narra- 
gansett river was meant Pawcatuck river. In 1649 Thomas 
Stanton had a trading house on the Pawcatuck, and a monopoly 
of the trade at the mouth of the river, for a season granted by 
the Connecticut authorities. The Pequot claim extended to 
Weecapaug, about four miles east of the river. Massachusetts 
resigned her claim to Connecticut in 1658. In 1662 Harmon 
Garret, alias Wequascouke, governor of the remnant of the Pe- 
quots, stated that he and his people ' had broken up above a hun- 
dred lots, and lived quietly and comfortably, east of Pawcatuck 
River,' but had been • driven from their planting ground, — four- 
score Indian men, beside women and children, just at planting 
time.' They were expelled in part by Rhode Island men, since 
this colony claimed possession to the Pawcatuck, and the land 
had been purchased of the Indians." 

The old Rhode Island patent of 1643 included the Narragan- 
sett country, and the disputes about this tract had not only been 
a cause of contention with Connecticut, but occasional 'alterca- 
tions also with Plymouth. If the Narragansett was the Seekonk 
river, Connecticut claimed that the Narragansett country was 
embraced in her chartered limits ; and if the Narragansett was 
adjudged to be the Pawcatuck river, then Plymouth claimed the 
same territory as being embraced within her chartered limits, as 
the Narragansett river was her western boundary. Massachus- 
setts also claimed that part of Narragansett that lay west of the 


Weecapaug river, in Westerly, running about five or six miles 
east of Pawcatuck, as her part of the division of the Pequot 
country, obtained by the conquest in 1637. 

Updike, in his " History of the Narragansett Country," pub- 
lished in 1847, says : " Thus stood Rhode Island, possessed of 
only the towns of the island of Rhode Island, Providence, and 
the Shawomet settlements, contending singly for her rights 
against the power and physical energies of her three powerful 
neighbors, and only confronted and cheered by the distant hope 
of protection from the king. The Connecticut charter of 1662 
embraced Narragansett ; Rhode Island, to sustain herself at this 
crisis, also petitioned the throne for a new charter, establishing 
her ancient jurisdiction, including the questioned title to Narra- 
gansett, which agitated anew at court the acrimonious dispute 
between the colony agents respecting the true location and name 
of the Narragansett river contemplated in their respective 
grants. For a more equitable adjustment of this litigated col- 
onial controversy the King called in the Connecticut charter, 
recently granted, for further consideration." 

In this posture of affairs, Mr. Winthrop, the agent of Connec- 
ticut, apprehensive of results fatal in other respects, from the 
inhibition, agreed with the agent of Rhode Island, Mr. Clark, to 
a general reference of the questions in dispute. William Bren- 
ton, Esq.., ;\Iaior Robert Thompson, Captain Richard Doane, 
Captain John Brookehaven and Doctor Benjamin Worsley were 
mutually chosen by the parties as the arbitrators to hear and 
decide the question. They fixed on terms which were signed 
and sealed by the agents of both colonies, Messrs. Winthrop and 
Clark, on the 7th of April, 1663, " That a river there commonly 
called by the name of Pawcatuck river shall be the certain bounds 
between those two colonies, which said river shall for the future 
be also called Narragansett river." " That the proprietors and 
inhabitants of that land about Smith's trading house claimed 
and purchased by Major Atherton and others shall have free 
liberty to choose to which of those colonies they will belong." 

On the 3d of July, 1663, they accordingly assembled and made 
choice of Connecticut. The Rhode Island charter of Julv 8th, 
1663, mentioned and ccmfirmed the first article of the before 
mentioned award, but omitted the others. The charter, in No- 
vember, 1663, was received by Rhode Island, read publicly before 
the people, and accepted. This auspicious result inspired Rhode 


Island with a confident hope that this irritating controversy was 
brovight to a successful termination. The agreement, solemn 
and formal as it was in its prospect, proved delusive. It did not 
settle the controversy. Connecticut contended that although 
Mr. Winthrop had a commission as agent to procure their char- 
ter, that in conformity thereto he did so and transmitted it to his 
house ; and upon that event his commission was fulfilled and to 
all intents his agency had ceased, and that thereafter he had no 
power to put their charter to arbitration, or authority to amend 
it, except instructed anew, and that the whole procedure was 
unknown to them. That in another respect Rhode Island her- 
self had nullified the agreement in not admitting the jurisdiction 
of Connecticut over the inhabitants of Narragansett, who had 
elected according to its provisions to live under their govern- 
ment. To relieve Rhode Island from a dilemma so pressing 
Roger Williams, in a letter to Major ^Nlason, of Connecticut, in 
explanation of the apparent perplexity that surrounded the 
transaction says : " Upon our humble address by our agent, Mr. 
Clark, to his Majesty, and his gracious promise of renewing our 
former charter, Mr. Winthrop upon some mistake had entrenched 
upon our line, but not only so but as it is said upon the lines of 
other charters also. Upon Mr. Clark's complaint your charter 
was called in again, and it had never been returned, but upon a 
report that the agents, Mr. Winthrop and Mr. Clark, were agreed 
by the mediation of friends (and it is true they came to a solemn 
agreement under hands and seals), which agreement was never 
violated on our part." 

This partial armistice rather exasperated than allayed the dis- 
position of the parties, and the contest was renewed with in- 
creased vigor. In the same year Rhode Island and Connecticut 
appointed magistrates in Narragan.sett to execute their respec- 
tive laws. In ]\larch, ]f5f)4, twenty armed men crossed the Paw- 
catuck, and with force entered the house of a citizen adhering 
to the government of Rhode Island, assaulted and seized the 
owner and carried him captive to Connecticut. Rhode Island, 
in the May following, seized John (ireene, of Quidnesit, an ad- 
herent of the opposite government, transported him to Newport, 
and threatened to arrest and imprison all others that would not 
subject themselves to their jurisdiction. The courts of each 
colonv holding their opposite sessions and promulgating their 
conflicting decisions, the continued arrests, captures and incar- 


cerations of the adherents of each party seemed to threaten a 
speedy effusion gf blood. An inhabitant of Wickford, writing- 
to Connecticut for forces, says : " We are in greater trouble than 
ever and like to be war." 

These differences, intrusions and acts of violence and injustice 
reached the ears of the home government, and to prevent the 
threatened catastrophe tlie king in April, 1664, appointed Colonel 
Richard Nichols, .Sir Robert Carr, George Cartwright and vSam- 
uel ^laverick. Esquires, commissioners {of which Colonel Nichols 
during life was always to be one) to determine all complaints, 
caiises and matters, military, civil and criminal, in the colonies 
of New England. 

The commissioners met in :\lay, 1665 (Nichols absent), and 
erected the King's Province. By an order under their hands and 
seals the Narragansett country again put on new boundary lines. 
This territory westward was bounded by the Pawcatuck river, 
and from thence in a north line drawn to Massachusetts line 
from the middle of said river into an independent jurisdiction, 
called King's Province, and ordered, "That no person of luliatever 
colony soever, shall presume to exercise any jnrisdietion ivit/nn the 
Kings Province, but such as receive authority from us under our hands 
and seals until his majesty's pleasure be further knozun," and that the 
magistrates of Rhode Island exercise the authority of justices of 
the peace in the King's Province until May, 1665. 

After that day they empowered the governor, deputy gov- 
ernor and assistants only as magistrates to hold courts, etc., in 
said province. The letter of the king confirmed the decision of 
the commissioners as to the possession, government and absobite 
and immediate sovereignty of the King's Province. Thus Rhode 
Island became dissevered, and the Narragansett country, one- 
half of her territory, was erected into an independent and sov- 
ereign province by the name of King's Province. xVfter this all 
acts of parliament affecting the colony were referred to by the 
style of " The Colony of Rhode Island, and Providence Planta- 
tions and the King's Province." Yet the magistrates appointed 
in conformity to the king's commissioners probably never exer- 
cised independent jurisdiction over said province north of the 
Warwick line. 

This decision of the commissioners, however, was perplexing 
almost to madness to the enemies of the division. The incon- 
veniences arising from the erection of a new jurisdiction over 


one-half of her chartered domain, rather tended to fetter the 
energies of state instead of relieving her from impending 
troubles in subsequent contentions with her powerful rival. It 
was due to these facts that in 1666 an address was presented to 
the king, also another to Lord Chancellor Clarendon, praying the 
re-union of Narragansett to Rhode Island, but it proved una- 

In 167o the Indian war commenced, and although Rhode Island 
was at peace with the people, the circumstances under which she 
was now placed were perplexing. 

But the United Colonies, regardless of colonial jurisdiction, 
invaded the colony with arms and exterminated the Indians at 
a blow. Concerning this war with the Narragansetts Rhode 
Island, in a letter to the king, thus states : " It began in June, 
1675, and broke forth betAveen King Philip and the colony of 
New Plymouth, and was prosecuted by the United Colonies, as 
they term themselves, and afterward several other nations of 
Indians were concerned in said war, whereby many and most of 
your majesty's subjects in these parts were greatly distressed 
and ruined. But this, your majesty's colony, not being con- 
cerned in the war only as a necessity required for the defense 
of their lives and what they could of their estates, and as coun- 
trymen did with our boats and provisions assist and relieve our 
neighbors, we being no other way concerned." 

In a letter to Connecticut Rhode Island says : " We are very 
apt to believe, if matters come to a just inquiry concerning the 
cause of the war that our Narragansett sachems, which were 
subjects of his majesty, and by his aforesaid commissioners taken 
into protection and put under our government, and to us at all 
times manifested their submission by appearing when sent for ; 
neither was there any manifestation of war against us from them 
till by the United Colonies they were forced to war or to such 
submission as it seems they could not subject to, thereby invoh"- 
ing us in such hazards, charge and losses which have fallen upon 
us in our out plantations that no colony hath received the like, 
considering our number of people." 

After the extermination of the Narragansetts they claimed 
the King's Province as a conquered territory, to which Rhode 
Island for this reason among others had no title. Under pre- 
tense of an amicable adjustment, Rhode Island being thus crip- 
pled and down trodden by the incursions of the United Colonies, 


Connecticut offered peace upon a division of territory, saying, 
" That although our just rights, both by patent and conquest ex- 
tend much further, yet our readiness to amicable and neighborly 
compliance is such that for peace sake we content ourselves to 
take with Cowesit (that is from Apponaug to Connecticut line) to 
be the boundary between your colony and ours." In this state 
of exhaustion, and for the peaceful enjoyment of the remainder 
Rhode Island felt herself compelled to answer, " That if you 
would accept of one-half of all the land in the tract above un- 
purchased Ave should not much scruple to surrender it to be at 
your disposal, provided it may be inhabited by such persons as 
shall faithfully submit to this his majesty's authority in this 
jurisdiction. We have made this tender out of that respect we 
bear to the country in general." Connecticut refused this propo- 
sition, and Updike says : " Rhode Island in this state of de- 
spair threw herself upon her own energies, and determined if 
she fell to fall with dignitv." 

Connecticut was not satisfied with the decision of the king's 
commissioners, they alleging their award was void owing to the 
absence of Colonel Nichols, who was required always to be one 
of the board and because also he had subsequently revoked the 
order of the other commissioners. They therefore sent a com- 
mittee to the King's Province and after surveying, proceeded to 
lay out new plantations within the disputed boundaries, Rhode 
Island settling other portions with her adherents. Thus the dis- 
puted territory became occupied -with claimants under both gov- 
ernments. Proclamations fulminated from both colonies, breath- 
ing vengeance to intruders and conjuring all parties to fidelity. 
Both sides made arrests and captures, and laws were enacted by 
each government threatening forfeiture of estates to all who 
claimed under or acknowledged -the jurisdiction of the other. 
John Baffin, holding under Connecticut, was convicted at Newport 
of adhering to a foreign jurisdiction and his estate confiscated 
and others were prosecuted or imprisoned or bailed. In retalia- 
tion Connecticut seized several Rhode Islanders and imprisoned 
them at Hartford and New London. In the midst of this turbu- 
lent state of affairs, Rhode Island in 1680 appealed to the king 
and gave notice to Connecticut that she might prepare for trial 
without delay, of which the latter accepted and assured Rhode 
Island in return " that they should exercise no further govern- 
ment east of Pawcatuck river until his majesty decided 'the ap- 


Agents were not dispatched by either party to prosecute the 
appeal and affairs remained in as disturbed a condition as before. 
In April, 1683, the king commi.ssioned Edward Cranfield, lieu- 
tenant-governor and commandef-in-chief of New Hampshire; 
William StoughtOn, Joseph Dudley, Edward Palmer, John Pyn- 
chon, Jr., and Nathaniel Saltonstall, Esq., for the purpose of 
the "quieting of all disputes that have arisen concerning the 
right of propriety to the jurisdiction and soil of a certain tract of 
land in New England called the King's Province or Narragan- 
sett country." From the constitution of this court being com- 
posed of commissioners selected from the United Colonies 
feelings had ever been inimical to the existence of Rhode Island, 
she augured anything but auspicious results. The commissioners 
assembled at Smith's castle, near Wickford, in pursuance of their 
appointment, attended by the agents of Connecticut and Plym- 
outh to litigate their respective claims to the King's Province. 
Rhode Island peremptorily refused to acknowledge the authority 
■of the court. Her legislature, assembled within a mile, denied 
their right to adjudicate, and ordered their sergeant-at-arms with 
his trumpet at the head of a troop of horse by loud proclamation, 
to prohibit them from keeping court in any part of their juris- 
diction. They adjourned to Boston and finally adjudged as 
might have been expected, "that the jurisdiction of the King's 
Province belonged of right to Connecticut." The sturdy re- 
mon.strance of Rhode Island to the king against the partial or- 
ganization of the court defeated the confirmation of its decision. 
In I680 another ill-advised effort was made to terminate the 
existing agitations. The king in that year commissioned Josepli 
Dudley as president of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts 
and the King's Province — thus uniting the four provinces under 
one common head. Dudley assumed the government and by 
proclamation declared the King's Province a separate govern- 
ment independent of Rhode Island. He assembled his coun- 
cil at Smith's castle and in the plentitude of authority established 
courts, appointed magistrates and, to obliterate every recollection 
of their former political exi.stence, substituted the town names of 
Rochester for Kingstown, Haversham for Westerly and Dedford 
for Greenwich. Rhode Island, enfeebled by dismemberment, 
quietly submitted until the arrest of Andros and the subversion 
of his government, when she re-established her authority. 

All efforts of the home government proving fruitless, Rhode 


Island and Connecticut attempted to settle their boundaries by 
commissioners of their own. In 1703, after much negotiation, 
an agreement was made, but was not confirmed by Connecticut, 
and finally all efforts to produce a peaceful conclusion of the 
long and painful controversy failing, Rhode Island in a letter to 
Connecticut dated July 7th, 1720, declared, " As you rejected all 
endeavors [meaning the line of 1703, which was run near where 
the boundary is now established], as well as other endeavors for 
an accommodation and will not be satisfied without swallowing 
up the greatest part of our small colony, we are therefore deter- 
mined, with the blessing of God, with all expedition to make 
our appeal to the King in council for his determination and de- 
cree of our westerly bounds ; and that you may not be surprised 
we humbly notify you thereof that you make take such steps as 
you may think to justify and vindicate yourselves." 

Rhode Island appointed Joseph Jenckes, Esq., their lieutenant- 
governor, a special agent, to proceed to London to conduct the 
appeal. Connecticut appointed Jeremiah Dummer, the resident 
agent of ^Massachusetts, their agent for the same purpose, and 
the trial proceeded. Conflicts ceased, as if both parties were 
weary of the tedious, irritating and savage controversy, and 
waited with sullen patience the decision of the common umpire 
at Whitehall. The king and council promulgated the final de- 
cision, establishing Pawcatuck river as the west boundarj^ of 
Rhode Island, and uniting the Kings Province, which had ex- 
isted fifty years as an independent jurisdiction, to Rhode Island. 

The Palatine Light. — The richest tradition which the old 
islanders delight to relate, is the uncanny story of the burning 
Palatine ship, made famous by Whittier's fine poem, and Dana's 
" Buccaneer." The tale about the ship is so shrouded in the ob- 
scurity of tradition that its authenticity is quite uncertain. As 
narrated bj? the islanders the story is briefly this : "About 17.-)6 a 
German vessel laden with emigrants from the Palatinate, a 
former political division of Germany, sailed for the West In- 
dies. On the passage a mutiny had arisen, the captain had been 
killed and the passengers robbed. The ship was driven by a 
storm upon Long Point, Block Island. The passengers and crew 
were all landed except one lady, who refused to leave the vessel. 
The ship was subsequently fired and burned, with the unfortu- 
nate lady on board. Alost of th(we landed from the ship were 
sick and soon died. Three women alone survi\-ed, and two of 


them lived and died on tlie island. These two women were 
called ' Tall Kattern ' and ' Short Kattern.' The former married 
a negro, and some of their descendants are said to be still 

The more prosaic stor}' is that a German vessel in distress 
landed at the island, left several sick passengers, and after re- 
maining in port some time sailed away. Most of those put ashore 
died, but two or three survived and lived upon the island, as is 
related in the more correct tradition. 

Whether the ship was burned is a question which cannot be 
definitely settled, but the weight of evidence seems to favor the 
story that she was burned. The graves of the poor unfortunates 
buried on the island were clearly marked a few years since. 
Honorable William P. Sheffield, in his " Historical Sketch of 
Block Island," speaks as follows of the last resting place of the 
Palatinates : 

" On the south side of Block Island, but a few rods west of 
where the ' Ann Hope,' the India ship of Brown & Ives, of 
Providence, was wrecked, and some forty or fifty rods to the east 
of the ' Black Rock Gull}-,' on a little knoll is a cluster of graves; 
up to within a few years they were distinctly visible, but the un- 
feeling plow has passed over them, and has almost obliterated 
their existence. In the ' Pocock Meadow,' a mile further west- 
ward, and in a field lately owned by the late Jesse Lewis, were 
other clusters of graves, long within my memory, if not now, 
visible. These were all known as the ' Palatine Graves.' The 
existence of these graves and their designation will not be ques- 

Tradition has connected this story with an unexplained phe- 
nomenon, which was of frequent occurrence years ago, but which 
has not appeared in these latter days of scepticism. This is the 
wonderful light seen off the northern part of the island, known 
as the famous Palatine light. The story is that every year there 
appears the ship, under full sail, on fire in every part, as a terri- 
ble reminder to the islanders of the inhumanity of the inhabi- 
tants in firing the Palatine ship and burning to death the 
unfortunate lady who refused to leave the fated vessel. The 
tale is still implicitly believed in by many of the " oldest in- 
habitants ;" and by the superstitious islanders the strange light 
was long thought to be supernatural. It was first seen, it is said, 
after the burning of the Palatine ship, and it was believed to be 


a ship on fire. The credulous people easily supplied in imagina- 
tion the burning hull, spars and sails, and thought they beheld 
a spectre ship in a mass of flame. But this appearance is so well 
authenticated that its existence can not be doubted. A strange 
light has been seen at various times during the earlier part of 
the century. The testimony is numerous and almost unimpeach- 
able. What this light was has never been explained. Doctor 
Aaron C. Willey, a resident physician of the island, in Decem- 
ber, 1811, addressed to a friend in New York a letter in which he 
gave a full description of the Palatine light, as seen by himself- 
He describes it as follows : 

"This curious irradiation rises from the ocean near the north- 
ern part of the island. Its appearance is nothing different from a 
blaze of fire ; whether it actually touches the water, or mereh' 
hovers over it, is uncertain, for I am informed that no person 
has been near enough to decide accurately. vSometimes it is. 
small, resembling the light through a distant window ; at others 
expanding to the highness of a ship with all her canvas spread. 
When large it displays either a pyramidal form, or three con- 
stant streams. This light often seems to be in a constant state of 
mutation ; decreasing by degrees it becomes invisible, or resem- 
bles a lucid point ; then shining anew, sometimes with a sudden 
flare, at others by a gradual increasement to its former size. 
Often the mutability regards the lustre only, becoming less and 
less bright until it disappears, or nothing but a pale outline can 
be discerned of its full size, then resuming its full splendor in 
the manner before related. The duration of its greatest and 
least state of illumination is not commonly more than three 
minutes. '•■" * * It is seen at all seasons of the year, and for 
the most part in the calm weather which precedes an easterly or 
southerly storm." 

The writer adds that this blaze actually emits luminous rays. 
He states that he twice saw it personally. 

The following extract from a letter of Mr. Benjamin Congdon, 
formerly a resident of the Narragansett country, published in 
the Newport Mercury, ]\Iarch 23d, 1<S78, is ctmclusive testimony 
of the reality of the phantom ship : 

" About the burning Palatine ship you speak of in your inter- 
esting papers, I may say that I have seen her eight or ten times 
or more. In those days nobody doubted her being sent by an 
almighty power to punish those wicked men who murdered her 


passengers and crew. After the last of these were dead she was 
never more seen. We lived when I was young, in Charlestown, 
directly opposite Block Island, where we used to have a- plain 
view of the burning ship." 

The King's Highway.— The old Post road from Westerly 
through Charlestown and South Kingstown to the vSouth Ferry 
and so on to Newport, was laid out in 1705. It was the great 
traveled way between Boston and New York and Philadelphia, 
and some of the most famous residences in New England were 
on this same highway. It was over this road Doctor Franklin 
often traveled in his perigrinations between Boston and Phila- 
delphia. He went in his private vehicle, and two of his favorite 
resting places were on this road, one at Westerly, with his friend 
Doctor Babcock, and the other at Mrs. Case's on Tower Hill in 
South Kingstown. Tower Hill was then the shire town of the 

The Dark Day. — This was during the revolution. It occurred 
May 19th,1780, and the day is known in history as " the dark day." 
A preternatural darkness spread over a large portion of New 
England, including Rhode Island, producing general alarm, some 
persons even supposing that the " day of judgment" had come. 
Newport was at this time held by the British under General 
Pigot with six thousand men. On the 10th of August of that 
year the American army, ten thousand strong, under General 
Sullivan, landed at the north end of the island. The French fleet, 
under d'Estaing held Narragansett bay. Unexpectedly the 
British fleet under Lord Howe appeared in sight. Sullivan ad- 
vanced within two miles of Newport and encamped. The two 
fleets maneuvered for two days .for position, and when a storm 
came on crippling them both, d'Estaing sailed away to Boston 
to refit, and General vSullivan had no alternative but to retreat, 
which he did in safety. The retreat was made none too soon, 
for Sir Henry Clinton arrived shortly after from New York with 
strong reinforcements for the British army. The people of 
Rhode Island could not have been otherwise than strongly 
affected by these military momements just across the bay, and 
it is quite probable that these troublous times were the occasion 
of the great religious awakening which occurred in some places 
at that time. 

Slavery. — From the best of authority it is learned that as late 
as 1780 South Kingstown was by far the wealthiest town in the 


State, paying double the taxes assigned to Xewport and one-tliird 
more tlian Providence. The original owners and occupants of 
the soil of Narragansett were for the most part wealthy and 
highly cultured English country gentlemen, having carefully 
educated families and constituting a social fraternity of culture 
and refinement and hospitality unto themselves. This was the 
basis for that fascinating social structure that was sustained by 
the unrequited toil of the African race and continued thus 
until the slaves in Xarragansett were freed from their human 

A stranger now visiting this portion of the state, observing 
the unthrifty and worn out appearance of many of the farms, 
houses and lands, could hardly believe that scarcely a century 
ago this once beautiful and now desolate looking farming coun- 
try teemed with a superabundance of dairy and other agricul- 
tural products, and of princely mansions, of which skeletons only 
now exist. Yet such has been the blight that ahvays sooner or 
later follows as the curse of human slavery. 

Under such conditions as formerly existed it was not strange 
that the society of that day was refined and well informed, or 
that the landed aristocracy showed an early regard to the suita- 
ble education of their children. Books were not so general as at 
this period, but the wealthy were more careful in the education 
of their offspring. Well qualified tutors emigrated to the colon- 
ies and were employed in family instruction, and to complete 
their education their pupils were afterward placed in families of 
learned clergymen. Doctor McSparran, Thomas Clapp, the effi- 
cient president of Yale College ; Doctor Checkley, the missionary 
at Providence, and other distinguished clerg}anen of that day re- 
ceiA'ed young gentlemen in their families for instruction. The 
young ladies were generally instructed in the same manner, and 
then placed in schools in Boston for further instruction and ac- 

That the gentlemen of Narragansett were well informed and 
possessed intellectual taste, the remains of their large libraries, 
costly paintings and expensive portraits and numerous other 
evidences of their luxurious lives, fully evince. Yet this was the 
state of society produced by slavery, and this festivity and dissi- 
pation, the natural result of wealth and leisure, was supported 
and maintained at the cost of the happiness and liberty of their 
fellow man in bondage. 


Judge Potter, in an address delivered before the Rhode Island 
Historical Society February 19th, 1851, said : " All along the belt 
of land adjoining the west side of Narragansett bay the country, 
generally productive, was owned in large plantations by wealthy 
proprietors who resided on and cultivated their land. They had 
the cultivation which would naturally result from a life of leis- 
ure, from intercourse with each other and the best informed 
men of the colony, and from the possession of private libraries for 
that day large and expensive." 

From the nature of the climate, the expense of supporting 
slaves was greater than in more southern latitudes, and public 
opinion would not sanction overwork or ill-treatment. The chil- 
dren of their owners were brought up in leisure, with little ac- 
quaintance with any business, and when in the course of time 
slavery was abolished and they were brought into contact with 
men educated to labor and self-dependence, the habits they had 
acquired from slavery proved the ruin of most of them and their 
property was encumbered and passed into other hands. 

The abolition of slavery was gradual. In 1774 the importation 
of .slaves was prohibited and everj^ slave brought into the colony 
was declared free. Large numbers of them joined our revolu- 
tionary army and were declared free on enlisting. They were 
among the best of the American troops and rendered efhcient 
service in the war ; and finally, in 1784, all children of slaves 
born after that year were declared free. It is an historical fact 
that the first regularly organized body of American colored, 
troops that ever engaged in battle was during the revolutionary 
war under General Sullivan in Portsmouth, R. I., where they 
bravely withstood the charge of the British troops and more than 
once repulsed them. 

Previous to establishing his household Mr. Robinson, of South 
Kingstown, engaged with others of his friends in sending a ves- 
sel from Franklin Ferry to the Guinea coast for slaves, out of his 
portion of which he proposed to select most of his domestic ser- 
vants and farming hands and dispose of the remainder by sale, as 
was the custom in those days. Up to the time of the return of 
the vessel — such was the force of education and habit — the cruel- 
ty and injustice involved in the slave trade seemed never to have 
entered Mr. Robinson's mind ; but now when he saw the for- 
lorn, woe-begone looking men and women disembarking, some 
of them too feeble to stand alone, the enormity of his offense 


against humanity presented itself so vividly to his susceptible 
mind that he wept like a child, nor would he consent that a sin- 
gle slave that fell to his share, twenty-eight in all, should be sold, 
but took them all to his own house, where, though held in servi- 
tude, they were kindly cared for. 

Mr. James Wilson gives a thrilling description of two old 
slaves, ■' Ned and Sip " (see history of Tower Hill), and in speak- 
ing of others says: " I well remember two of William Dyer's 
slaves, named Prince and Violet. They lived in a small house 
which stood near the southwestern corner of the Dyer pasture, 
now owned by Mr. John Nichols ; the cellar is still to be seen 
and as the garden was left in corn hills the rows can be distinct- 
ly traced, although sixty-iive years have elapsed since it was cul- 

" The Browns owned slaves, among whom were Jack Fisher, 
Deadfoot, Adam, Nannie and Rocher. Jack lived in the family 
of Governor George Brown. Fisher lived on a lot that his son, 
William Hawkins, bought for him at the northeast corner of the 
Wilson Woods. He married a slave of Christopher Hawkins 
named Dinah, and part of the children took the name of Brown 
and the remainder bore the name of Hawkins. They had a son 
named Joshua Hawkins, who was a very singular individual. 
When he arrived at the age of fourteen years he said that he 
was determined not to be a sod kicker and wield the scythe and 
hoe-stick, and accordingly he dressed himself in woman's clothes, 
called himself Nancy Brown, and did housework, Daniel Up- 
dike, who kept a hotel m East Greenwich, employed him for 
several years. He was also employed in a hotel in New Bed- 
ford. He went to Albany, and was employed for sixteen ^■ears 
in a hotel, wearing women's clothes. Finally, he returned to 
vSouth Kingstown in the year 1849, but finding no relatives, he re- 
turned to Albany. He was about six feet high, verv thin of 
flesh, and weighed only ninety-seven pounds. He had black 
eyes, and a very large Roman nose, decorated with a pair of gold 
specks. He was dressed in a fashionable black silk skirt, with a 
cinnamon-colored spencer waist, and wore a ladies' black beaver 
hat, with two black ostrich feathers. 

"Colonel John Gardner's slaves were named- Bristow, Cupidore, 
PoUidore and Dinah. Bristow was a soldier, and served in a. 
colored regiment, under Captain Guy Watson, during the revo- 
lutionary war. Cupidore was very pious, and occasionallv 


preached the gospel. Pollidore was a ' fiddler.' Samuel Rod- 
man, Thomas Hazard and many others also had slaves." 
_ The Slave Trade.— In the year 1804 the ports of South Caro- 
lina were opened for the importation of African slaves by act of 
the legislature, and remained open for four years. During these 
four years there were two hundred and two vessels engaged in 
this trade to the port of Charleston, and they belonged to the- 
following places : Charleston, 61 ; Rhode Island, 59 ; Great Brit- 
ain, 70 ; Baltimore, 4 ; Boston, 1 ; Norfolk, 2 ; Connecticut, 1 ; 
Sweden, 1 ; France, 3.. The British vessels imported 19,649 ; the 
French, 1,078; Charleston, 7,723 ; Bristol, R. I., 2,914; Newport, 
R. L, 8,488; Providence, R. I., .556 ; Warren, R. I., 280 ; Baltimore, 
"750 ; Savannah, 300 ; Norfolk, 287 ; Hartford, 250 ; Boston, 200 ; 
Philadelphia, 200 ; New Orleans, 100. Total, 37,775. 

In this connection we give some extracts from a report upon^ 
abolition petitions, made by Elisha R. Potter, of Kingstown, to 
the house of representatives of Rhode Island in January, 1840. 
" One of the measures is to abolish slavery in the state of Rhode 
Island." He says : 

"It appears by the United States census of 1830 that there 
were seventeen slaves in Rhode Island. As all the children of 
the slaves naust of course be forty-six years old or more, it is 
presumed that they are nearly all superannuated, and instead of 
being a source of profit, are a burden to their nominal owners, 
who are now obliged to maintain them. The only consequences- 
of liberating these would be no possible benefit to the slaves 
themselves, but the transferring the obligation to maintain them- 
from the families of the owners to the towns, who would be 
obliged to support them as common paupers. Besides, it is prob- 
able that the census of 1840 will show the number then living in 
the state to be very small, perhaps none. The committee, there- 
fore, cannot agree with the petitioners here, and do not recom- 
mend any action on this part of the subject. 

" The committee then give a statement of the number of slaves ■ 
which have been in Rhode Island in times past. 

" Before 1790, when the United vStates census was first taken,, 
our accounts do not exhibit the number of slaves separately, but- 
only the number of negroes, whether slaves or free : 

AVhole Population. Negroes- 

1730 17,935 1.648' 

1748 32,773 3,07? 

1774 59,678 3,761 

1783 51 ,869 2,086- 


" The census of 1730 did not include tlie towns east of the bay 
which were not added to this state until 1746. This will account 
for the part of the increase of negroes appearing in 1748. Be- 
sides, about 1730-48, Rhode Island merchants had traded largely 
to the West Indies, bringing back negroes as a part of their return 

" In 1780 the number of slaves in the state between ten and 
fifty was estimated by a committee of the legislature to be five 
hundred and eighteen. 

" But from 1790 the census taken by the United States gives us 
an accurate account of the number of slaves : 

Whole Population. Slaves. 

1790 69,110 953 

1800 69,122 381 

1810 77,031 108 

1830 83,059 48 

1830 97,199 17 

" The committee who reported the estimate in 1780 found the 
number of slaves in the state — 518 — to be distributed as follows : 
Of these South Kingstown had 156 ; North Kingstown, 78; Exeter, 

45 ; Warwick, 41 ; Providence, 40. Newport had until just be- 
fore been in the possession of the British, and was not included 
in the estimate." 

" Kings county (Washington), which contained one-third of 
the population of the state, numbered more than a thousand 
slaves. The census of 1730 gives a less number, but it was pop- 
ular to conceal numbers from observation of the home govern- 
ment. Families would average from five to forty slaves each. 
They owned slaves in proportion to their means of support. The 
slaves and horses were about equal in number ; the latter were 
raised for exportation. Newport was the great slave market of 
New England, and there were some importers of slaves in Nar- 
ragansett. The slaves were in abject ignorance as a body, they 
were treated with great humanity, but as if created to be of an 
inferior race." 

The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and others as 
well, became early awakened to the moral and spiritual degrada- 
tion of the slaves, and took an active interest in their enlighten- 
ment. The society began to look upon the conversion of the 
negroes as a principal branch of their care, esteeming it a great 
reproach to the Christian name that so many thousands of per- 


sons should continue in the same state of pagan darkness under 
a Christian government, and living in Christian families. As 
early as the year 1704 they opened catechising schools and em- 
ployed teachers to elevate the character of the slaves, and as 
might be naturally supposed the religion of the negroes takes 
after that of their masters. 

The first act passed on the subject is recorded May ISth, 1652, 
by the Commissioners of Providence Plantations as follows : 

" Whereas, There is a common course practiced among English- 
men to buy negroes to the end they may have them for service 
or slaves forever, for the preventing of such practices among us 
let it be ordered that no black mankind or white being forced to 
covenant bond or otherwise to serve any man or his assigns longer 
than ten years or until they come to be twenty-four years of age, 
if they be under fourteen from the time of their coming within 
the liberties of this colony, and at the end or term of ten years to 
set them free as the manner is with English servants ; and that 
an}^ man that will not let them go free or shall sell them away 
elsewhere to that end that they may be enslaved to others for a 
longer time, he or they shall forfeit to the colony forty pounds." 

In March, 1675-6, the legislature enacted that " no Indian in 
this colony shall be a slave but only to pay their debts." In Oc- 
tober an act was passed to prevent slaves from running away. 
In July, 1715, an act was passed to prohibit the importation of 
Indian slaves into this colony. In February, 1728, persons man- 
umitting mulatto or negro slaves were required to give security 
against their becoming a town charge. 

In 1774 an act was passed prohibiting the importation of ne- 
groes into this colony. In 1778 slaves were allowed to enlist in 
the army and were declared free upon enlisting. 

In 1779 an act was passed to prevent slaves from running 
away. In 1784 an act authorizing the manumission of negroes, 
mulattoes and others, and for the gradual abolition of slavery, 
was passed. This act declares all children born after March 1st, 
1784, to be free, and makes provision for their support. The 
provisions for slaves were further altered in 1785. 

In 1787 an act was passed to prevent the slave trade and to en- 
courage the abolition of slavery, and in June, 1790, a society was 
formed in Providence and incorporated by the legislature for 
promoting the abolition of slavery. It included the most distin- 
guished men in the state. 


From the above can be seen the growth of public opinion upon 
this subject in Rhode Island. 

Lakk Narraca.nsett.— The significance of the name of Nar- 
ragansett is not definitely known. One tradition is that it is the 
Indian name of a briar that grew to a prodigious height and .size, 
the like hardly ever known. There is also a tradition among 
the natives, of a spring, called by them Narragansett (hot and 

. cold) because the water was extremely cold in summer and hot 

:in winter, because of which the Indians frequently visited it. 

Respecting the name Narragansett, Roger Williams, our best 
authority, states : " That being inquisitive of what root the de- 
nomination of Narragansett should come, I heard Narragansett 
was so named- from a little island between Pettaquamscutt 
(which was the name of a large rock near Tower Hill, and was 

.afterward given to a river in South Kingstown dividing Tower 
Hill from Boston Neck, and emptying into the sea) and Mis- 
quamicut (Westerly), on the sea and fresh water side. I went 
on purpose to see it, and about a place called Sugar Loaf Hill (a 
high conical mount -at Wakefield) I saw it, and was within a 
pole of it, but could not learn why it was called Narragansett." 

There are a number of islands in Point Judith pond, but 
which was pointed out t-o Mr. Williams as the Narragansett island 
is not now known. 

Point Judith pond was originally called Narragansett lake, 

-and sometimes was known under the sobriquet of Salt Lake pond. 
Many of the well-to-do citizens of South Kingstown obtained their 

.start in life by fishing in these waters. A half century ago 
striped bass were caught in large quantities. The pond was also 
filled with delicious oysters. Of late years no bass have been 
taken, nevertheless other fish have been caught in large num- 
bers, and the industry at times has been encouraging. 

The question of opening a permanent breach from the pond 
into the ,sea has been often agitated. The United States govern- 
ment has made preliminary surveys looking to that end, but in- 
terested parties disagree as to the feasibility of the plan, or 
whether or not it would prove advantageous to the fishing inter- 
ests or bring back the supply of oysters. The pond, if opened 
into the sea, would certainly be much purer and freer from 
noxious matter that comes from the mills. During the past fifty 
years the breach has been rarely filled up so as to prevent the 
influx from the ocean, and at the present time a fair sized boat 


■ can go out. Years ago the breach was much farther east than it 
is to-day. The water then ran out at vSand Hill Cove. The Sep- 
tember gale of 181 f) filled up the old breach, and after the storm 

; .subsided the water was found to have cut through at the present 
breach. The September gale of 1815 piled up those immense 
heaps of sand in the rear of Sand Hill Cove. An eye witness 

' of this storm says that the ocean did not rise gradually with the 
tide, as usual with high seas, but that these immense waves were 

-followed each by another still, until finally they covered Great 
Island itself, with the exception of a few square feet. 

There has always been considerable interest in boating on Lake 
Narragansett, and some good sailors' crafts have been in the 

■pond, and many have been the races and the contests which have 

-•taken place. In those days a good view was had from Sugar Loaf 
hill. The island of Narragansett, which Roger Williams men- 

Ltions, however, cannot be seen from that point now. 

XoTED Pl.vces in WASHINGTON CouNTV. — " The Devifs Foot " 
is a legendary rock, situated on the old post road, some half way 

"between East Greenwich and Wickford, and marks the first land- 
ing place of the Devil's foot when he left his home among the 

-Massachusetts Puritans, in Cotton Mather s time, in pursuit of an 

• old Indian squaw. This ungrateful Indian woman had by some 
hocus-pocus transaction honestly forfeited her soul to this arch- 

, fiend of her happiness, and then meanly attempted to escape out 
. of her sable creditor's presence into Rhode Island. The devil, 

in hot pursuit, left the first print of his foot in this rock. His 
■cloven foot next struck on Chimnev hill, and the next stride 
"landed him on Block Island, where he captured his victim and 
■returned with her to Boston, where she was delivered up to the 

Puritan children, to be dealt with according to their law. 

" Rolling Rock" is a round rock placed on top of a large fiat 

■ rock and is on the road leading from Wickford to East Greenwich. 
This rock is said to weigh about fifteen tons, and was used in the 

* times of the Indians to call their tribes together, as the noise 
made by two men standing on top and rolling it can be heard at 
a great distance. 

'" Hall's Rocks' " are a clump of rocks situated one half mile 
north of Wickford: and about a mile south of the Rolling Rock. 
This place derives its name from the owner of the land. Many 

■ people picnic here, as the land is high, overlooking many points, 
; and affording a , very pleasant view of Narragansett bay. Many 


people from the larger cities come here and spend a day on these 

" Indian Corner " is a place in North Kingstown leading from 
Wickford to Kingston hill, and about one and one half miles 
east of Slocumville. It takes its name from a battle fought here 
by the Indians, many of whom were buried here. The bones are 
found to this day. There is a large rock on this corner as you 
turn the road, and it is said by some that this rock is of a red 
color in a rain storm. This, however, is pure fiction. 

" Wolf Rocks " are a clump of rocks situated about two miles 
northwest from Kingston hill. There is a cave in these rocks 
where it is said a wolf lived and raised young ones, and was 
finally driven into the cave and followed in by a man and killed. 

" Dumpy Rocks " are a clump of rocks about four hundred feet 
long and at the highest point sixty feet high. These rocks derived 
their name from a baby by the name of Dumpy that was killed 
and placed in the cracks of the rocks. The rocks are four and a 
half miles from Wickford. 

" Horse Yard Run " is a place in the woods about one quarter 
of a mile west of " Dumpy Rocks," on land owned by Z. H. Gardi- 
ner. There is about one acre of cleared land said to be fenced 
in and used in olden times to yard horses in ; as in those days the 
young horses ran at large and were yarded here, so they called 
it by this name. 

" Handsome Corner " is a place south of Exeter hill and it de- 
rived its name from a very handsome lady who used to live in a 
hut on the corner. 

'■ Cooper Land " is a small lot on the road leading from Slocum- 
ville west. ■ 

" Split Rock " is a large rock situated on the old Tisdale farm 
now owned by William Tisdale. This rock has the appearance 
of having once been solid, but is now split straight from top to 
bottom. It is about thirtv feet hig-h. 



Richard Smith.-The Fones Record.-The Petitioners' List.— The Clarke Family.— 
The French Settlement.— The Landed Aristocracy.— Extensive Farms and 
their Dairy Products.- Governor Robinson.— Pettaquamscutt and its Sur- 
roundings. ^Gilbert Stuart.— George Rome and his Country Villa.— An 
Extraordinary Answer to Prayer.— Theophilus Whalley.— The Willetts.— The 
Hazards.— Ministry Lands.— The Pettaquamscutt Purchase.— The Church 
Difficulty.— The Decision of the King's Council.— Reverend James Mo- 
Sparran, D. D. 

IN point of settlement Washington county may be regarded 
as the third in Rhode Island, Richard Smith having settled 
the town of North Kingstown in 1639. Mr. Smith came three 
years after the settlement of Providence, and located at the head 
of what is now called Point Wharf Cove, where he established a 
trading post, and erected upon the site of the present Congdon 
House the first English dwelling in the Narragansett country. 
He came from Taunton. He was a native of Gloucestershire, 
England, but he came from the aforementioned place, where he 
resided a short time, and from which he brought in boats the 
materials with which he constructed his house ; some of them 
were employed in the con.struction of the present edifice. Roger 
Williams soon afterward settled near Smith, but in a few years 
sold to him his interests, which included " his trading house, his 
two big guns and a small island (Rabbit Island) for goats." In 
1656 Smith leased of the Indians for sixty years the tract of land 
upon which. Wickford now stands, and as far south as the Anna- 
quatucket river. Three years later he extended the boundaries 
and leased it again for one thousand years, together with the 
region north and east of his home, now known as Calves' Neck 
and Yawgoo. In 1660 most of these lands were absolutely quit 
claimed to Smith. The tract of land at one time owned b}' him 
was nine miles long and three miles wide. 

Smith made his will in 1664. He gave his homestead and the 


greater part of his lands to his son Richard, who in turn by a 
will proved in 1692, bequeathed the Boston Neck land to Elizabeth 
\' iall, and the homestead and the land around Wickford to his 
nephew, Lodowick Updike. Roger Williams, in his testimony 
given July 24th, 1679, in favor of Smith's title, says: " I humbly 
testify that about forty years (from this date ) he kept possession, 
coming, and going himself, children and servants, and had quiet 
possession of his houses, lands and meadows ; and there in his 
own house, with much serenity of soul and comfort, he yielded 
up his spirit to God, the father of spirits, in peace. 

" I do also humbly declare that the said Richard Smith, junior, 
ought by all the rules of equity, justice and gratitude to his hon- 
ored father and himself, to be fairly treated with, considered 
recruited, honored, and by his majesty's authority, confirmed 
and established in a peaceful possession of his father's and his 
own possession in this pagan wilderness and Narragansett 

On May 4th, 1668, the proprietors and inhabitants of Wick- 
ford addressed a petition to Connecticut signed by the following 
named persons : Daniel Dennisen, John Crabtree, Amos Richis- 
son, John Paine, Thomas Joy, Walter House, Daniel Maddocke, 
Richard Smith, Tawik Vandick, Samuel Eldred, sen'r., William 
Hudson, Macklin Knight, John Cole, Joshua Hewes, Francis 
Batts, Alexander Fenixe, John Viall, Thomas Flanders, Samuel 

The court of commissioners from the Rhode Island assembly on 
May 20th, 1671, recorded the following as inhabitants of Wick- 
ford or Acquidnessett : Daniel Gould, Samuel Dyre, John An- 
drews, William Downing, Samuel Pratt, George Browne, George 
Wightman, Lodowick Updike, Thomas Waterman, James Rey- 
nolds, Henry Tibbetts, Henry Greene, John Briggs, William 
Helme, Robert Wescott, Richard Updike, Thomas Gould, John 
Sweet, sen'r., Samuel Waite, John Pratt, John Greene, Daniel 
Greene, Robert Spink. 

During the Indian war, December 25th, 1675, it has been af- 
firmed that every house in Narragansett was destroyed, and the 
inhabitants entirely driven out. In a petition, however, dated 
July 29th, 1679, we find the following list who were inhabitants 
of Narragansett : William Bentley, Benjamin Gardiner, Sam. 
Wilson, Robert Spink, Henry Tibets, Lodowick LTpdike, Sam. 
Eldred, James Renals, vSam. Alsbery, Frell Newton, Jery Bull, 


Robert Yinin, Robert Spink, Jun., Aaron Jackwaise, Henry Gar- 
diner, George Gardiner, James Greene, Joseph Dolaver, William 
Knowls; Richard Smith, Aurthur Aylesworth, Thomas Scoville, 
William Gardiner, George Palmer, Thomas Gold, John Eldred, 
John Sheldon, Thomas Brooks, John Greene, Daniel Greene, 
James Runnels, Alex Fenex, Rouse Helme, John Cpale, Henry 
Renals, Daniel Sweet, John Sheldon, Jun., Nicholas Gardiner, 
George Whitman, Daniel Eldred, William Coster, Joseph Rey- 

The following were the inhabitants of Pettaquamscutt as given 
by the court of commissioners in May, 1671 : Jerah Bull, Thomas 
Mumford, Rouse Helme, Benjamin Gardiner, George Palmer, 
George Crofts, Samuel Wilson, John Tefft, James Eldredge, 
Henry Gardiner, Stephen Northrup, Enoch Plaice, John Potter, 
William Heffernan, Samuel Albro, Nicholas Gardiner, William 
Aires, Christopher Holmes. 

These lists contain most of the pioneers of Narragansett up 
to 1680. 

From the Fones Record we find that the inhabitants of Narra- 
gansett July 3d, 1663, were as follows: Henry Tibbets, Samuel 
Eldred, Jr., Joshua Thomas, Thomas Sewall, Walter House, 
Richard Smith, William Hudson, James Brown, R. Smith, Jr., 
Thomas Stanton, Jr., Samuel Waite, Ambrose Leach, Samuel 
Eldred, James Cole, Henry Stevens, Edward Hutchinson, for his 
son Elisha, Wait Winthrop, Thomas Stanton, R. Lord, James 
Atherton, Alex. Fenex, George Palmer, John Crabtree, Reuben 
Willis, John Greene, George Dennison, Timothy Mather, Amos 
Richeson, R. Smith in behalf of eight children. 

Of those mentioned in the above list it may be that some were 
proprietors and not actual residents. 

The following copy from the Fones Record in the ofifice of the 
secretary of state may be of interest to the readers of the above : 

" Narragansett, July 3, 1663. 

" We whose name are underwritten being the Inhabitants and 
Proprietrs of the lands lying in the Narragansett have done & 
doe desier (according to his Majestys grante) to be under the 
governmtt of Connecticot Collony & Request there protection ac- 
cording to a letter sent in June last. 

" Mr. Bradstreet & others have desired ye same in ye letters 
formerly Mentioned. 


" Henry T. Tibit, 

Samuel (his W mark) Waite, 

Alexander (his A mark) ffenwick, 

Samuel (his S mark) Eldred, junr. 

Ruben R. Willis, 

Walter (his X mark) House, 

Henry "(his X mark) Stevens, 

John Green, 

Ambrose A Leach, 

Enock (his X mark) Plais, 

George A. Palmer, 

John (his X mark) Hewes, 

Samuel (his X mark) Eldred, 

Jno. Crabtree, 

Thos. (his X mark) Sewell, 

Jno. Cole, 

Richard Smith, 

Edward Hutchinson and for his son Elisha, Will Hudson. 

Waite Winthrop, 

George Denison, 

James Browne, 

Thomas Stanton, Senr. 

Timo. Mosher, 

Richard Smith, Junr. 

Richard Lord, 

Amos Richison, 

Tho. Stanton, Junr. 

Increase Atherton, 

Richard Smith in behalf of 8 children." 
Clarke Family. — This family has been and is still a promi- 
nent one in both the county and state. They are descendants of 
Governors Jeremiah and John Clarke (through his brothers), who 
figure conspicuously in our colonial history but who were not re- 
lated to each other. Governor John Clarke had no children. 
The descendants of this family come through his brothers. Jere- 
miah Clarke's name first appears to a public document April 28th, 
1689, at Pocasset. He held various prominent positions from 
1642 to 1649, when he became the prominent leader of the new 
colony in opposition to Governor Coddington, serving from 1649 
to 1653. He died in 1661. 

Two of Governor Clarke's sons-in-law were governors of the 


colony, as also his son Walter and his grandson, Samuel Crans- 
ton. Among his descendants who have been honored by elec- 
tion as governors of Rhode Island, is the second William Greene, 
of Warwick, making six of his family who have filled that high 
position, as follows : Jeremiah Clarke, 1 year ; Walter Clarke, son 
of Jeremiah, 4 years ; John Cranston, son-in-law of Jeremiah, 2 
years ; Caleb Carr, son-in-law of Jeremiah, 1 year ; Samuel Crans- 
ton, grandson of Jeremiah, 29 years ; William Greene, 1st, mar- 
ried Catherine Greene, great-great-granddaughter, 11 years ; 
William Greene, 2d, 5th generation in descent, 8 years. 

Those of his family who have been deputy or lieutenant-gov- 
ernors Of Rhode Island, are six, viz. : John Cranston, son-in-law, 
3 years ; Walter Clarke, son, 21 years ; John Gardiner, married 
Frances Sanford, granddaughter, 9 years ; William Greene, 1st, 
married Catherine Greene, 4th generation, 1 year ; William 
Greene, 7th generation, 2 years ; Samuel G. Arnold, 3 years. 

The term of service of the second Governor Greene closed in 
May, 1786, therefore, from the union of the towns in 1647, to 1786, 
one hundred and thirty-nine years, the seat had been occupied 
fifty-six years by members of this family, to which might 
properly be added the three years of the Andros usurpation, 
when Walter Clarke being the incumbent, may be regarded as 
legally governor, making fifty-nine years ; this leaves eighty 
years for others. During that period, not improbably, some of 
the more recent incumbents are also of the same stock, for the 
extent to which the blood of Jeremiah Clarke permeated the 
community of native Rhode Islanders is a perfect marvel. 

During the first one hundred years, or from ] 647 to 1747, this 
family held the governorship forty-four years, including the sus- 
pension of the charter, leaving fifty-six years for others to occupy 
it. During the same time they held the deputy-governorship 
twenty-seven years. 

Jeremy Clarke was a witness to the deed of Misquamicut, 
now Westerly, June 29th, 1660. 

Walter Clarke, the eldest son of Jeremiah, was born in 1640, 
and died May 22d, 1714. He was governor of the colony in 1676 
-7, and from May, 1680, to June, 1686, dc facto, and from June, 
1686, to February, 1690, dc jure; also from May, 1695, to May, 
1698. He was deputy-governor from 1679 to 1686, and from 1700 
to 1714, holding both offices twenty-seven years, the latter at the 


time of his decease. He was a deputy from Newport in 1672-3-4, 
and assistant in 1675. 

French Settee.meni-s.— Tlie motive which led to the settle- 
ment of the Huguenots in Rhode Island was in a measure a re- 
ligious one. The reformation which took place in the sixteenth 
century was attended with almost unceasing wars and civil con- 
vulsions. The Lutheran reformation soon spread over Europe. 
In 1562 the dissensions between the two religious parties in 
France had risen -to such a height that an open war broke out be- 
tween them. The Catholic party had the advantage of having 
all the power of the civil government and drove the Protestants 
from France. In the meantime, however, the war continued 
with more or less violence until 1572, when the leaders of the 
Protestant party being invited to Paris on pretense of bringing 
about a general reconciliation, the ever memorable massacre of 
St. Bartholomew was brought about. In this massacre seventy 
thousand Protestants fell victims to the bloody spirit of religious 
persecution. This massacre took place in the reign of Charles 
the Ninth, and the Catholics in France and at Rome celebrated 
this event with thanksgiving and jubilees, and medals were 
struck in commemoration of their victory. 

In the year 1598 the Edict of Nantes was published but perse- 
cutions continued as relentless as before, and under the reign of 
Louis the Fourteenth this Edict was repealed and the persecuted 
had to flee the country. The number that left the kingdom took 
up their flight to England, Holland, Geneva, Brandenburg and 
America, and has been variously estimated, sometimes as high as 
a million. Those who came to America settled at New Rochelle 
in the state of New York, in New York city, on the James river 
in Virginia, on the Santee river and in Charleston, South Caro- 
lina, and others came to Massachusetts and Rhode Island. 
Among the descendants were many who took an active part in 
our American revolution and who were otherwise distinguished 
as statesmen or public benefactors. 

About thirty families from France settled in Massachusetts. 
They received a grant of ten or twelve thousand acres of land, 
in the township of Oxford. 

October 12th, 1686, Richard Wharton, Elisha Hutchinson and 
John Baffin, a committee of the so-called proprietors of the Nar- 
ragansett country, made an agreement with Ezechiel Carrd, Peter 
Le Breton and other French emigrants for the settlement of a 


plantation in the Narragansett country to be called Newberry. 
This location, however, wa.s subsequently changed, November 
4th, 1686, and the proprietors or bay purchasers agreed to convey 
to the emigrants a tract of land in the township of Rochester 
(Kingstown), " above ye Long Meadow Kickameeset about 
Captain John Fones his house wherein each family yt desires it 
shall have one hundred acres of Upland in two divisions, viz : 
A house lott containing twenty Acres being twenty Rods broad 
in ye front laid out in due ordr wth street or high way of Six 
Rods broad to run between ye sd lotts upon wch they shall front. 
Secondly yt ye Second division to make sd hundred acres of up- 
land shall be laid out on ye western side of ye sd house lotts as 
near as ye Land will bear yt all ye sd meadow wth yt. wch lieth 
adjacent between ye Southern Purchase &a west line yt is to run 
from John Androes Northern Corner above ye Path shall be di- 
vided into one hundred parts, each one to have his proportion 
according to ye quantity of land he shall take up & subscribe for 
yt there shall be laid out for ye sd Mr. Ezechiel Carre ye pr. sent 
Minister One hundred and fifty acres of upland & meadow in ye 
same manner proportionable Gratis to him & his heires forevr 
and one hundred acres of upland & meadow proportionable to 
an Orthodox Protestant Ministry & fifty acres of like land to- 
wards the maintainance of a Protestant school master for ye Town 

The copy of the agreement is signed by Wharton, Hutchinson 
and Safifin, and deeds were to be executed when the terms were 
complied with. The names of the French settlers who signed 
the counterpart were probably the same as those which appear 
on the plat, viz.: William Barbret, Paul Collin, Jean Germon, De- 
champs, Fougere, Grignon, Legare, Robineau, Peter Ayrault, 
Magni, Jr., Magni, Sr., David, Jr., David, Sr., Chadene, foretier, 
Ezechiel Carre, Ministre, Louis Alaire, Grasilier, Amian Lafou, 
Belhair, Milard Jouet, Renaud Le gendre, Bertin dit Laronde, 
Menardeau, Galay, Ratier, David Beauchamps, Moize Le Brun, 
Le Breton, La Vigne, Jamain, Bussereau Le Moine, Abraum 
Tourtellot, La Vene Galay, Targe, Jr., Targe, Sr., Tauerrier, 
Bouniot, Arnaud, Lambert Rambert, Coudret, Jean Jullien. 

It is impossible to locate the place of settlement of this com- 
pany exactly, but the tradition in the Mawney family and in the 
neighborhood points to the Mawney farm and the land around 
and north of the Briggs Corners, so called, as being the site of 


it. On the northerly part of the Mawney farm in the southeast 
corner of East Greenwich is a place by a spring, which has always 
been known as the French orchard. Here are the remains of 
foundations of cabins or huts, shell banks, etc. 

The name Le Moine, now known as Money or Mawney, has 
been a common one in the town of East (jreenwich. Col- 
onel Peter Mawney i.-; named on the oldest plat of that town. 
He was born in 1689, and died in I7.")4. He was the son 
of Moses Le Moine. Colonel Peter Mawney had six daughters 
and two sons, one of whom, Doctor John Mawney, was sheriff 
of Providence for some time, and was in the expedition that 
burned the " Gaspee." Pardon Mawney, his brother, was the 
father of fifteen children, one of whom, John G. Mawney, was 
postmaster at East (Treenwich for thirty-five years or more. 
His two sons, William T.and John G. Mawney, are now residents 
of East (jreenwich. William T. Mawney has a cane from the 
last tree of the old French orchard. As a relic of the Hugue- 
nots, with its bands and inscriptions, it is worthy of preservation. 
He married Eliza A., granddaughter of Robert Sherman, of 
Exeter. Moses Mawne}- was the seventh child of the fifth gen- 
eration. He was born in 1780, and died in 1821. His three chil- 
dren living are : Robert Ct., Hannah ( Mrs. Joseph R. Arnold), and 
Eliza A. 

The Laxded Aristocracy of Nakkacaxsett. — Updike, speak- 
ing of the landed aristocracy of Narragansett, says : " In Xarra- 
gansett resided the great landed aristocracy of the colony. Their 
plantations were large ; some of them very extensive." Major 
Alason, of Connecticut, in a letter to the commissioners of that 
colony, dated August 3d, 1()7(), persuading them to relinquish all 
further claims of jurisdiction over the Narragansett country, 
.says: "Those places that are any way considerable are already 
taken up by se,veral men in farms and large tracts of lands, some 
five, .six and ten miles square — yea, some have I suppose much 
more which you or some of yours may see or feel hereafter. 
These things I know to be true, as they did manifestly appear in 
view when the commissioners were at Narragansett. I suppo.-e 
you cannot be unacquainted with these things." 

The original tract taken up and owned by Richard Smith was 
three miles wide and nine miles long. Mr. Isaac P. Hazard, in a 
communication, states: "The farm of my great-grandfather, 
Robert Hazard, extended from the Jencks farm (which it includ- 


ed) to the south end of Boston Neck and extended across the 
Pettaquamsctitt river to near where the village of Peace Dale 
now is, and I am not sure but that it took in a great part of this 
village. He had extensive ranges for cattle and horses some- 
where in the neighborhood of the Great Pond or Worden Pond, 
and I have heard my father say that at one time he occupied 
nearly twelve thousand acres. 

" The principal value of his lands, however, consisted of about 
two thousand acres lying on Boston Neck and immediately on 
the west side of Pettaquamscutt river which separated it from 
Boston Neck Lands. 

" My grandfather, Governor William Robinson's farm, em- 
braced the north part of Point Judith, including Little Neck, ex- 
tending south one or two farms below the farm now owned by 
my brother, Joseph P. Hazard, and westward to Sugar Loaf Hill." 

" Governor William Robinson owned acres ; he devised val- 
uable farms to his sons. Colonel vStanton owned one tract of 
four and a half miles long and two miles wide ; he kept forty 
horses and as many slaves, and made a great dairy besides other 
productions. After his death his son Lodowick kept thirty cows 
on one hundred and fifty acres of it. Colonel Champlin possessed 
m one tract over one thousand acres, kept thirty-five horses, fifty- 
five cows, six hundred to seven hundred sheep and a propor- 
tionate nuinber of slaves. Hezekiah Babcock, of Hopkinton, im- 
proved eight hundred acres ; James Babcock, of Westerly, owned 
two thousand acres, horses, slaves and stock in proportion; Col- 
onel Joseph Noyes had four hundred acres, kept twenty-two 
horses and twenty-five cows. His son afterward kept fifty-two 
cows on the same farm. Colonel Upkike, the colony attorney, 

owned three thousand acres. Colonel Potter possessed 

acres now constituting seven valuable farms. Mr. Sewall sixteen 
hundred acres in Boston Neck which now constitute six farms of 
the aggregate value of $27,000. The Gardiners, Miles and Bren- 
tons owned large tracts of valuable land. The ordinary farm 
contained three hundred acres. They were improved by slaves 
and laboring Indians. The slaves and horses were about equal 
in number. Corn, tobacco, cheese and wool were the staple arti- 
cles produced, and horses were reared for exportation." 

Douglass, in his summary printed in 1760, says : " Rhode Is- 
land colony in general is a country pasture, not for grain ; by ex- 
tending along. the shore of the ocean and a great bay, the air is 


softened by a sea vapor which fertilizeth the soil ; their winters- 
are softer and shorter than up inland ; it is noted for dairies 
whence the best of cheese made in any part of New England is- 
called (abroad) Rhode Island cheese." 

"The most considerable farms are in the Narragansett country. 
Their highest dairy of one farm milks about one hundred and 
ten cows, cuts two hundred loads of hay, makes about thirteen 
thousand pounds of cheese, besides butter, and sells off consid- 
erable in calves and fatted bullocks. A farmer from seventy- 
three milch cows in five months made ten thousand pounds of 
cheese ; besides cheese, in a season one cow yields one firkin of 
butter, from seventy to eighty pounds. In good land they rec- 
kon after the rate of two acres for a milch cow. " 

Mr. Hazard, in the same communication, further states : 
" From my father and grandmother I have heard that my great- 
grandfather, Robert Hazard, had twelve negro women as dairy- 
women, each of whom had a girl to assist her, making from 
twelve to twenty-four cheese a day ; and since I have grown up 
we had one of his cheese vats of the second size, according to the 
tradition in our family, which held nearly one bushel. My father 
has informed me that so superior was the grass in the early set- 
tlement of this country that nearly double the milk or butter and 
cheese was obtained from a cow as at present, and that only 
twelve cows were allowed to each dairy-woman and her assistant. 
One hundred and fifty cows being about the number he usually 

" The hay fields and meadows, to use my father's expression, 
grew ' full of grass,' meaning the grass was very thick all over 
them, and as high as the tops of the walls and fences, the same 
as it now grows on the virgin soil of the West, and my father 
frequently observed in contrasting them that he doubted if any 
western lands would produce more grass than Boston Neck 
would when first settled. As a proof of its excellence my father 
observed that his grandfather paid for some of his last purchases 
sixty dollars per acre, when money was double the value it is now 
(1847), or more, and new lands back a little way from the sea 
plenty and at a very small price. 

" He kept about four thousand sheep, manufacturing most of 
the clothing, both woolen and linen, for his household, which 
must have been very large, as I heard my grandmother say that 
after he partially retired from his extensive farming operations 


or curtailed them by giving up part of his lands to his children, 
he congratulated his family and friends on the small number to 
which he had reduced his household for the coming winter, being 
only seventy in parlor and kitchen. 

" Grain and probably hay (but of the last I am not informed), 
were at that time shipped to the West Indies, but of the extent 
of his grain crop I know nothing except what my father has told 
me, that he generally loaded two vessels annually -at or near the 
South ferry with cheese and grain in the hold and horses on deck, 
all the produce of his farm, which sailed direct for the West In- 
dies ; and the balance was sold in Newport and sometimes in 
Boston, where his cheese was in high repute, selling at nearly 
double the usual rates." 

" Agriculture on the sea coast of Rhode Island at that time 
was on a very different scale from what it is now, as the West 
Indies, which were early settled, furnished a good ready market 
for these small British colonies on the Atlantic coast of North 

" The labor was then mostly performed by African slaves or 
Narragansett Indians, who were then, as they still are, a most 
efficient body of laborers and of great use to the farmers during 
hay harvest particularly." 

" The Sewall farm kept one hundred cows and produced 13,000 
pounds of cheese annually. N. Hazard kept forty-two cows and 
made 9,200 pounds of cheese from the Champlin farm of 7,000 
acres. Joseph N. Austin, on the Clarke farm of 350 acres, kept 
thirty-six cows and made 8,000 pounds of cheese. Rowland 
Robinson improved 1,000 acres and made an immense dairy. 
One cow would average two pounds of cheese a day. Rents were 
payable in produce, and from the breaking out of the French 
revolution to the general peace upon the expulsion of Napoleon, 
the United States being the neutral carriers for Europe, the price 
of cheese was ten dollars per hundred and corn and barley, etc., 
in due proportion, and the rents being paid in cheese and other 
produce, vast amounts were raised. Of cheese 6,600 pounds were 
equivalent to $600 annual rent for years. The cream was then 
used in cheese, and the Narragansett cheese maintained high 
character for richness and flavor, but subsequently butter had 
risen and cheese fallen in price, consequently the cream was 
wrought into butter and cheese lost its value and reputation. 
Recently a money rent has been substituted for a produce rent, 
and the productive value of the former staples has diminished. 


" The wife of Richard Smith brought from Gloucestershire to 
this country the recipe for making the celebrated Cheshire 
cheese, and from that recipe the Narragansett was made in imi- 
tation of the Cheshire cheese, and it early gained for the table 
and market an established reputation for superior flavor and ex- 
cellence, and continued to maintain its predominating character 
until the farmers, as before mentioned, were induced to convert 
their cream into butter." 

Pettaquamscutt and its vSuRROUNDiNGs. — Gilbert Stuart, 
the celebrated portrait painter, was a native of Narragansett. 
His father came from Scotland, and located his possessions at 
the head of Pettaquamscutt lake, one of the most beautiful sheets 
of water imaginable, worthy of the pseudonym " The Killarney 
of New England." At this place he built a two story house, in 
the northeast chamber of which his son, Gilbert, was born in 
April, 1756 ; and his fame as an artist will remain as long as the 
memory of the great original of his Washington is revered by 
the citizens of these United States. 

Gilbert went to England-in ITT."), and became a pupil of Ben- 
jamin West. From London he went to Ireland by invitation of 
the Viceroy, the Duke of Rutland, but did not arrive there until 
after the duke's decease. 

After some j^ears spent abroad he returned to America for the 
sole purpose of painting General Washington. His last years 
were spent in Boston. His father's name was Gilbert, his mother 
was an Anthony. 

The Snuff Mill pond is a small pond from which the small 
river flows that empties into Pettaquamscutt lake. This pond 
formerly abounded with pike and pickerel, in some instances 
weighing more than twenty potmds. To the north and west of 
this pond a large tract of woodland extends, and to the north 
and east of it lies the estate of Creorge Rome, consisting of seven 
hundred acres, having a fine mansion house upon it. This man- 
sion house, Mr. Updike says, was highly finished and furnished. 
The beds were concealed from view in the wainscots. The 
rooms might be tra\-ersed throughout and not a bed for the re- 
pose of his guests be seen. This was a matter of astoni.shment 
for the colonial observer. When the hour for retirement arrived 
a servant would just give a touch to a .spring in the ceiling, and 
the visitor s bed, by means of a self-adjusting process, would 
protrude itself as if by the effect of magic, ready prepared for 


the reception of its tenant. His garden contained the rarest 
native and exotic varieties. He lived in splendor, and enter- 
tained his friends with sumptuous hospitality. 

Mr. Rome sometimes styled his residence "my country villa," 
and again, " Bachelor's Hall." " My compliments," writes Mr. 
Rome to a friend of Colonel Stewart, " May I ask the favor of 
you both to come to a Christmas dinner with me at Bachelor's 
Hall, and celebrate the festivities of the season in Narragansett 
woods ? A covy of partridges or a bevy of quails will be enter- 
tainment for the colonel and me, while the pike and perch in the 
pond will amuse you." 

He occasionally gave large parties, at which the ladies and 
gentlemen of Boston, Newport and Narragansett would equally 
mingle. Punch was the fashionable beverage at that period, and 
the entertainments at Bachelors' Hall were extravagant. Mr. 
Hazard, in his " Recollections of Olden Times," relates the fol- 
lowing amusing incident : 

" It was at one of these entertainments that the most extra- 
ordinary answer to prayer probably on record occurred. It seems 
that Lawyer Bourne, of Providence, had indulged to such an ex- 
tent in libations from the enticing punch bowl that his senses 
became so stupefied that his boon companions really feared life 
was extinct. It was conceded by the host and all present that 
something must be done, and there being no minister of the 
Gospel at hand, in the emergency, Lawyer Joe Aplin, of Little 
Rest hill — more than half seas over himself — was appealed to by 
the company as the next best qualified to offer up a prayer for 
the restoration of his friend. 

"Though totally unused to the vocation thus suddenly cast 
upon him. Lawyer Joe commenced in a vein in which he was ac- 
customed to address a Rhode Island Judge of the Court of Com- 
mon Pleas, thinking to be heard for his much speaking rather 
than from any mitigating circumstances he had to offer in behalf 
of his drunken client. After some half an hour's maudlin sup- 
plication by his friend, poor Bourne still showed no signs of re- 
turning to life, and Aplin closed with an impassioned call on the 
' Lord Jesus to have mercy on poor Bourne, even as he had mercy 
on the thieves on the cross, he being a much greater sinner than 
either of them.' Simultaneous with the last words uttered by 
Aplin a loud snort issued from the nostrils of Bourne, followed 
by an uproarious burst of laughter, and he was well from that 


moment, and probably the most sober man in the company. The 
last appeal made in his behalf, Bourne said, was too irresistibly 
ludicrous even for a dead man to resist." 

Theophilus Whalley. the regicide, after coming to this coun- 
try, took up his residence in a homely cottage a half mile or less 
south of Snuff Mill pond. The house stood on a gentle declivity 
of a hill on the eastern side of the lake, and there Mr. Whalley 
lived many years. He came from Virginia about 1679-80, built 
an underground hut at the north end of the pond, and lived by 
fishing and by writing for the settlers. From his name he was 
supposed to be one of the Judges of King Charles I., but when 
questioned answered obscurely. The farm on which he lived is 
"known as the Willett farm. Colonel Frances Willett said that 
-the gentlemen who visited them from Boston in his father's time 
treated Whalley with great respect, and furnished him with 
money. In Queen Anne's war a ship of war, whose captain's 
name was Whale or Whalley, anchored near there, and they vis- 
ited and recognized each other as cousins. Whalley, or as he 
was sometimes named. Whale, used to say that he was of colle- 
giate education, and had been brought up delicately, and had been 
a captain in the Indian wars in Virginia. He was versed in 
Greek, Hebrew, etc. He subsisted part of the time by weaving. 
He died about 1719-20, aged 104 years. 

From Doctor Stiles' " History of the Judges" we learn that 
the Whalley who lived in concealment at the head of the Pet- 
taquamscutt pond, in Narragansett, was the real Colonel Whal- 
ley, who ^was one of the regicide judges of King Charles I. 
His children and descendants believed it, and the best of au- 
thorities are now confident of the fact, although the true facts 
of the case were for a long time shrouded in mystery. Colonel 
Whalley received remittances annually from friends in Eng- 
land. The Willett farm was afterward owned and occupied by 
Willett Carpenter. Mr. Sewall and other gentlemen from Boston 
would visit Mr. Whalley annually and privately confer with 
him, and after they would go away he Avould have plenty of 

Lieutenant Whalley was one of the same family of the Judge, 
and served in Hacker's regiment. Hacker, though not a judge, 
yet commanded at the execution of the king, and was himself 
executed in 1660. 


Colonel Whalley, when advanced in age, removed to West 
'Greenwich, and resided on a farm he had previously purchased. 
The assignment on the deed, dated February, 1711, was in his 
■own handwriting. Miss Martha Whalley, a descendant of his, 
married Sylvester Sweet, April 16th, 1772. 

The Willett farm above referred to is situated south of and 
-adjoining that of the regicide, and was a tract of land extend- 
ing from Narragansett Ferry northward perhaps one mile and a 
half in length on the bay, and about one mile or more east and 
west from the bay across to an oblong pond called Pettaquams- 
-cutt, and was the original seat of the great sachem Miantinomo. 
President Stiles, in his history of the Three Judges, speaking of 
Mr. Willett, says :— " Colonel Francis Willett, of North Kings- 
town, Rhode Island, died and was buried in the family burying 
place on his own estate, one mile north of Narragansett Ferry, 
February 6th, 1776, aged 83. He was descended from Thomas 
Willett, the first Mayor of New York. He died in Barrington, 
R. I., in 1674. Captain Thomas Willett made his will in Swan- 
sea in 1671. It was proved August 12th, 1674. He gave his 
Narragansett lands to his grandchildren, viz.: to Thomas, son of 
Martha Saffin, a double portion ; to the sons of his daughter, 
Mary Hooker, a share each ; and to his daughter, Esther, or any 
children she may have, a .share each. Captain Andrew Willett, 
born in Plymouth, October, 1655, lived on the family estate on 
Boston Neck and is buried there. He sold off to Rowland Rob- 
inson three hundred acres of the south part of the estate. He 
gave the Boston Neck farm to his sons, Colonel Francis and 
Thomas. Thomas died in 1725, aged 29 years, and by will gave 
"his interest in the farm to his brother Francis, and to the heirs 
of his body ; and if he died without issue then to Willett, son of 
his sister Mary Carpenter and William, son of his sister Martha 
Pease. Colonel Francis Willett married Mary Taylor, but left 
no issue, and the whole of the Boston Neck estate fell to Francis 
•Carpenter, his nephew. 

" Joseph Carpenter, of Oyster Bay, Long Island, married — first 
Ann, 1707 ; and secondly, Mary, 1709-10, both daughters of Cap- 
tain Willett. Their son Francis inherited the estate under 
his uncle's will. He married Esther Helme. Their children 
-were : Esther, Willett, James, Francis and Mary. Willett Carpen- 
ter fell heir to the home estate. He married Elizabeth, the sister 
.of Doctor Benjamin Case. Their children were : Reverend 


James H. Carpenter of the Episcopal Church of the Ascension, 
Wakefield ; Powell H. Carpenter, of Providence, and Benjamin 

" Tradition says that Francis Willett having but little wood- 
land on the estate he inherited, and thinking he had been de- 
frauded by a neighbor of whom he had to purchase that needed 
fuel, decided to plant a large open field with acorns, which he ac- 
tually did and cultivated them with the hoe until they attained 
a size that rendered farther cultivation unnecessary." 

A mile or so south of Geoffrey Hazard's residence stood that 
of George Hazard, the father of Thomas G. Hazard. Thomas G. 
Hazard was a wealthy farmer, and was the first agriculturist in 
Rhode Island who used kelp or sea-weed as a fertilizer. He was 
the father of the late Doctors Enoch and Benjamin Hazard, of 
Newport, styled the Daniel Webster, of Rhode Island. 

Thomas G. Hazard married the daughter of Jonathan Easton, 
a lineal descendant of the first Nicholas Easton, one of the origi- ' 
nal proprietors of Aquidneck island, who, with the first Thomas 
Hazard and Robert Jeffries, laid out the town of Newport. Mr. 
Hazard was the father of six sons, the two above named, and 
George (the eldest), Thomas, Easton and John. John was purser 
of the frigate " General Greene," and died at sea when a young 
man. All the Hazards were high-minded and did their own 
thinking in morals, religion and politics. 

The condition of society in Washington county at the close of 
the revolution was completely changed and by that event, says 
Updike, " we became another and a new people." The war had 
left an indelible impress upon all classes. The yeomanry of the 
land had been made extremely poor, and the aristocratic land- 
holder who espoused the cause of the mother country, had been 
disfranchised and his property confiscated. The law of primo- 
geniture had been repealed, slavery had been abolished, large es- 
tates had been divided up into numberless farms, the acrimony 
of party strife had dissipated the friendly feelings and the social 
intercourse of the past, and the hospitality and refinement which 
characterized the landed proprietors before the war had forever 

Upon the adoption of the constitution some of the towns op- 
posed it, notwithstanding the fact that the citizens of this county- 
were among the earliest to act in the cause of independence, and 
were among the more energetic in prosecuting the war. When 


this vote was taken in North Kingstown one hundred and sixty 
opposed the adoption of the constitution and two stood in 

Anomalous as was this fact,we are hardly justified in charging 
them with indifference or with a want of enthusiasm, as this was 
a new departure in state craft, and the efficacy of that instrument 
which was framed in wisdom and which has ever been the shield 
of the rights of the American citizen, was then an untried fact. 
Once convinced of its practicability no people have been more 
ready to shield it from danger than these who once opposed it 
upon the ground that as a possibility it first demanded the se- 
verest deliberation. 

Quakers. — Quakers first made their appearance in England in 
1651. In 1654 emissaries of Quakerism were dispatched to the 
West Indies ; and as soon as their preachers appeared in Rhode 
Island they found many of the posterity of the first planters well 
prepared for the reception of their faith. At first, of course, the 
Quakers of New England had no schools or regular clergy, and 
because of their belief were subject to much persecution. The 
magistrates of the Massachusetts colonies hanged four of the first 
Quaker preachers, and it was because of these and other severi- 
ties that many were driven to Rhode Island to seek a safer 

A little church was built in Newport in 1702, and one in Nar- 
ragansett in 1707. In 1739 there were thirty-three churches in 
Rhode Island. Of these twelve were Baptist, ten were Quaker, 
six were Presbyterian, five were Episcopalian. Besides these 
there were other assemblies, but unorganized and without houses 
of worship. 

The following letter from the commissioners of the United 
Colonies to Rhode Island, dated September 12th, 1657, and signed 
Simon Bradstreet, president, Daniel Denison, Thomas Prence, 
John Mason, John Taylcott, Theopolus Eaton and William Steele, 
concerning the Quakers, is significant. It certifies: " These com- 
missioners being informed that divers Quakers are arrived this 
summer at Rhode Island and intertained there which may prove 
dangerous to the colonies, thought meet to manifest theire minds 
to the Governor there as followeth." The letter then speaks of 
" a companie of Quakers arived at Boston vpon noe other account 
than to disperse theire pernicious opinions had they not been 
prevented," etc., etc., and after reminding the colony of Rhode 


Island " whereof wee cannot but bee very sensible and think noe 
care too great to preserve us from such a pest," requested them 
" to remove those Quakers that have been receaved, and for the 
future prohibite their cominge amongst you, . . . and further 
declare that wee apprehend that it will be our duty seriously to 
consider what further provision God may call us to make to pre- 
vent the aforesaid mischiefe." 

The government of the colony of Rhode Island, however, con- 
sidering they had no law to punish any for only declaring by 
words, etc., their minds and understandings concerning the things 
and ways of (rod, readily informed the commissioners of the 
United Colonies that, " Whereas freedom of different consciences 
to be protected from inforcements was the principal ground of 
our charter," that they could take no ofhcial notice of their re- 
ligious tenets. They were assured only that in case the " sayd 
Quakers which are here or who shall arise or come amongst us 
doe refuse to subject themselves to all duties aforesayed, as 
trayininge, watchinge and other such ingagements, as other 
members of civill societies, etc., etc., then we determine," etc., 

While the commissioners of the United Colonies were endeav- 
oring to drive the Quakers from Rhode Island Plymouth was 
sending them there. 

Ministry Land. — The ministerial farm in the Pettaquamscutt 
ptirchase was a tract of land containing three hundred acres set 
aside by the Pettaquamscutt purchasers for the use of the minis- 
try. Unfortunately the originators of this scheme for assisting 
ministers did not designate which denomination it was intended 
to aid, and in consequence there followed a vast amount of con- 
troversy respecting the rights of the various denominations 

In view of the difficulties therein existing Reverend James 
McvSparran wrote to the " Society for the Propagation of theCrO.s- 
pel in Foreign Parts " on the subject, and to his communication 
an answer was received and the dispute begun. 

The Petta(^uams(;utt Purch.vse. — In 1 657 the chief .sachems 
of the Narragansett country sold to John Porter, Samuel Wil- 
bore, Thomas Mumford, Samuel Wilson, of Rhode Island, and 
John Hull (roldsmith, of Boston, Pettaquamscutt hill for sixteen 
pounds. Next year the sachem of Nienticut (Niantic) sold some 
lands north of said purchase to the same purchasers. The whole 


purchase was about fifteen miles long and six or seven wide. 
Afterward they associated Brenton and Arnold ; jointly, they 
were called the seven purchasers. 

In 1668 five of the Pettaquamscutt purchasers (Porter being- 
absent) passed the following order : " That a tract of three hun- 
dred acres of the best land, and in a convenient place, be laid 
out and forever set apart as an encouragement, the income and 
improvements wholly for an Orthodox person, that shall be ob- 
tained to preach God's word to the inhabitants." It would seem 
no deed or formal conveyance was ever made. It was surveyed 
out, plotted, and the words to the ministry entered on the draft. 

By the Rhode Island charter all professions of Christians 
seemed to be deemed Orthodox. This was enacted virtually in 
1663 by one of the first acts of the legislature, which law observes 
that all men professing Christianity, and of competent estates, 
and of civil conversation and obedient to the civil magistrates, 
though of different judgment in religious affairs, shall be ad- 
mitted freemen, and shall have liberty to choose and be chosen 
officers in the colony, both civil and military. 

These ministerial lands, not being claimed by any orthodox 
minister, in 1702 Henry Gardner entered upon twenty acres of 
them, and James Bundy upon the remaining two hundred and 
eighty acres. " Most of the grantees," says Updike, " have been 
of the Church of England, but most of them fell off into an en- 
thusiastic sect, called Gortonians, now extinct, and some joined 
the Congregationali.sts in other places, and others proved to be 
attached to them. 

" Perhaps at that time there were no Presbyterians or Congre- 
gationalists in Rhode Island, and at this time (1750) it is said 
there are in North and South Kingstown more people of the 
Church of England than of the Presbyterian and Congrega- 
tionalist societies. 

" In 1702 Mr. Niles preached in said district for some time, but 
never had from Bundy possession of the two hundred and eighty 
acres. In 1710 he left Kingstown and settled in Braintree, in 
Massachusetts Bay. In 1719 George Mumford bought of Bundy 
the possession of the two hundred and forty acres. In 1721 Mr. 
Gardner delivered the twenty acres which he had possession of 
to the Church of England incumbent, Mr. McSparran, and in 
1723 Mr. McSparran, upon a writ of ejectment, recovered posses- 
sion against Mumford for the two hundred and eighty acres, 


grounded on the confirmation of 1679 and the laying out of 1693, 
the original grant of 1668 being secreted, was cast into two trials. 
He appealed to the king in council, but the Society for the Propa- 
gation of the Gospel refusing to meddle with the affair, the matter 
rested, and Mumford kept possession. 

" The Presbyterian incumbent minister, Mr. Torrey, the first 
incumbent of ordination, brought an action against Gardner for 
the twenty acres, and Mr. McSparran, the Church of England 
minister, brought an action against Robert Hazard, the tenant of 

" In 1732 Torrey brought an action of ejectment against Mum- 
ford ; both inferior and superior courts gave it for Mumford ; 
but upon Torrey 's appeal to the king in council the verdicts were 
disallowed, and possession ordered to the incumbent, Torrey, in 
1734. The members of St. Paul, Narragansett, April 7th, 1735, 
addressed the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, &c., 
for their assistance in the advice and expense, but to no pur- 

"In 1735, by advice from England, Mr. Torrey conveyed the 
two hundred and eighty acres which he recovered of Mumford 
to Peter Coggeshall and five others, in fee and in trust for him- 
self and his successors in the Presbyterian ministry. The trus- 
tees leased the same to Hazard for a few years. 

" In 1737 the original deed of the ministerial land in the Petta- 
quamscutt purchase, which had been secreted, coming to light. 
Doctor McSparran, in behalf of himself and successors in St. 
Paul's church, by the advice of his lawyers. Captain Bull and 
Colonel Updike, brought a new writ of ejectment against Hazard, 
the occupant or tenant of the said two hundred and eighty acres, 
and was cast into the courts of Rhode Island, but allowed an 
appeal to the king in council. 

" Upon a full trial before the king in council at Whitehall 
the judgment was rendered. 

" At the Council Chamber, Whitehall, the 7th of May, 1752. 

■' Present. 

" Their Excellencies, the Lords Justices. 

" Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, Duke of Argyll. 

" Lord Chancellor, Marquis of Harlington. 

" Lord Steward, Earl of Holdernesse. 

" Lord Anson, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. 


" Lord President, Horatio Walpole. 

" Earl of Cholmondely, Sir William Yonge. 

" Earl of Halifax, Sir John Bushout. 

" Earl of Buckinghamshire, George Coddington, Esq. 

" Lord Bathurst, William Pitt, Esq. 

" Lord Edgecombe, Sir George Lee." 

Updike says : " The decision of this cause was a noble instance 
in the history of British jurisprudence of the triumph of princi- 
ple over the sectarian partialities of the judges. By the law of 
England none were considered orthodox but those attached to 
the established church, but the King in council adjudged that 
the term Orthodox legally applied to all those who were sound 
in the doctrines of their own particular church irrespective of 
Christian denomination. The jury having decided the fact that 
the grantors were of the Presbyterian or Congregational denom- 
ination, the King in council determined that the meaning and in- 
tention of the donors by the term Orthodox was that the estate 
given should be appropriated for the support of the ministry of 
their own particular religious creed or persuasion, and this de- 
cision they made notwithstanding a presbyter of the church of 
England was the adverse party in the suit." 

This estate so long in controversy remained in the possession 
of the Presbyterian or Congregational society, yielding but tri- 
fling income, until a few years since, when it was sold. The pro- 
ceeds now constitute a fund of over $5,000, the yearly inter- 
est of which is appropriated to the support of the minister of the 
Congregational church established at Kingston. 

Doctor James McSparran. — This able divine was one of the 
most efficient ever sent to this state by the Society for the Propa- 
gation of the Gospel. He was possessed with manly and un- 
daunted courage, and as a Christian soldier triumphed over all 
difficulties of his laborious and untried mission. 

While Doctor McSparran and his wife were on a visit to 
England she died June 24th, 1755. She fell a victim to that 
loathsome disease, the small pox, while on a visit in London, and 
was buried in Broadway chapel burying yard in Westminster. 
Doctor McSparran returned home in February, 1756. 

This bereavement was a sore affliction to Doctor McSparran. 
His health became seriously affected and his constitution began 
to exhibit symptoms of rapid decay. He was thus left alone in 
the world without the consolation of a family to support his de- 


dining years. On returning from a pastoral visit at Providence 
and Warwick he lodged with Lodowick Updike at the mansion 
of his deceased friend, Colonel Daniel Updike, in North Kings- 
town. Here he complained of being indisposed, but the next 
day he reached his own home, which stood at the foot of McvSpar- 
ran hill, South Kingstown, where he was seized with the quinsy, 
of which disease he died in a few days. Of the death, funeral 
and interment of this distinguished divine the church record con- 
tains the following account : " On the first day of December, 1757, 
the Rev. Doctor James McSparran died at his house in South 
Kingstown. He was minister of vSt. Paul's in Narragansett for 
the space of thirty-seven years, and was decently interred under 
the communion table in said church on the sixth day of said 
month. He was much lamented by his parishioners and all with 
whom he had an acquaintance. A sermon was preached by the 
Rev. Mr. Pollen, of Newport, from these words, taken out of the 
14th Chapter of Revelations at the part of the 13th Averse. 

" ''And I heard a voice saying unto nu\ ivrite blessed are the dead that 
die in the Lord.' " 

" The Rev. Mr. Usher performed the service at the funeral, 
where there were a great number present. 

" The pall bearers on this occasion were as follows : Reverend 
Mr. Pollen, Reverend Mr. Leaming, both of Newport ; Reverend 
Mr. Mathew Graves, of New London ; Reverend John Graves, 
of Providence ; Ebenezer Brenton and John Case, wardens." 


The Erection of the King's Province.— Joseph Dudley's Proclamation.— Names 
Given to the Different Towns.— The Erection of Kings County .—The Act of 
the Assembly Changing Kings to Washington County.- The Court House 
and County Jail.— Execution of Thomas Carter.— Daniel Harry, the Indian 
Convict.— The Great September Gale— The Beginning of the Present Cen- 
tury.— Ship Building.— Social Indulgences.— Washington Clounty Agricul- 
tural Society.— Public Schools.— Newspapers. 

IN 1664 the king appointed Colonel Robert Nichols, Sir Robert 
Carr, George Cartwright and Samuel Maverick (Nichols to 
be always one during his life) commissioners to reduce the 
Dutch and settle all differences among the colonies. They were 
courteously received in their progress through the colonies, and 
were attended by John Pynchon and Thomas Clark on the part of 
Massachusetts, and Thomas Willett from Plymouth. The officers 
of Connecticut and Governor Winthrop also attended them. In 
Nichols' absence the other three took the government of Narra- 
gansett from both the colonies claiming it, and made it a sepa- 
rate province by the name of King's Province. Fourteen justices 
appointed by them continued in office from March 20th, 1664, to 
May 3d, 1666. After that they appointed the governor and assis- 
tants of Rhode Island to be cx-officio magistrates of the King's 
Province. They declared all the Massachusetts and Connecticut 
grant at Westerly void and passed an order about Atherton's 

Early in 1686 Joseph Dudley, who the year before had been 
appointed president of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts 
and Narragansett, with a council to aid him, assumed the govern- 
ment. On May 28th he issued a proclamation declaring Narra- 
gansett to be a separate government. He established courts and 
appointed officers there and the people quietly submitted to him. 
On the 23d of June, he, with his council, held a court at Smith's 
house, where John Fones was sworn clerk and new names given 


to the different towns, viz.: Kingstown to be called Rochester ; 
Westerly, Haversham ; Greenwich, Bedford. 

June 14th, 1687, at the quarter sessions held for Rhode Island, 
Narragansett and Providence Plantations, the following justices 
were present : Francis Brinley, chairman ; Colonel PelegSanford, 
Major Richard Smith, Captain John Fones, John Coggeshall, 
Caleb Carr, Sen., Simon Ray, Captain Arthur Fanner and Cap- 
tain James Pendleton. They appointed John Maxon and John 
Fairfield overseers of the poor for Haversham, and John Reinalds 
and Samuel Albro for Rochester. 

In December of this year the sessions appointed Messrs. Brinley, 
Sanford and Fones to contract to build a court house in Newport 
and one in Rochester, alias Kingstown. They levied a tax of 
;£'170, viz.: Newport, ;£'38 ; Portsmouth, £'i\; Providence, £'iM ; 
Warwick, £\^ ; Bedford, ;^3 ; Rochester, £1% ; Haversham, £\K)\ 
New Shoreham, £\\ ; Jamestown, £\i). It was to be paid in 
money, or sheep's wool at 7^d. per pound, spring butter at 4W. 
per pound, Indian corn at 2()d. per bushel, rye at 2s. fid. per 
bushel, or port at 42s. per barrel. 

In March, 1688, William Palmer was fined by the quarter ses- 
sions for planting a peach tree on Sunday. 

June 24th, 1696, Judge Sewall deeded the east part of Lot No. 4 
in the northwest part of Pettaquamscutt purchase to Harvard 

During the year 1698, the boundary question was drawing to a 
close. Connecticut, having received a letter from the lords of 
trade and the plantations, advising them to settle with Rhode 
Island, appointed a committee for that purpose August, 1698, 
and October, 1699 ; and Connecticut in October, 1702, appointed 
another committee to settle the jurisdiction line, and on May 
12th, 1703, the committees agreed on Pawcatuck as the boundary, 
confirming, however, all grants of Connecticut in Westerly. 
Respecting these Connecticut grants there seems to have been 
some trouble, and the cause was referred to England and de- 
cided by the king in council in 1726, establishing the present 

In June, 1703, the assembly divided Rhode Island into two 
counties, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. In the latter 
the courts were to sit by turns at Providence, Warwick, Kings- 
town and Westerly. The " General Court of Tryals " still con- 


tinued, as formerly, to be composed of the governor and assistants 
and to sit only in Newport. 

The general assembly at Newport on the 3d Monday in June, 
1729, passed " An Act for the Dividing the Colony of Rhode Is- 
land and Providence Plantations into three counties, and ascer- 
taining the Bounds and Limits of each said Counties." 

" Whereas the Number of Inhabitants in this Colony is mucli in- 
creased and the Bounds thereof arc so extensive that that part thereof 
called the Mam-Land especially the more remote Inhabitants are put to 
Great Trouble and Difficulty in prosecuting their Affairs in the Conmton 
course of Justice as the Courts are now established. Therefore, Be it 
enacted by the General Assembly of this Colony, and by the Authority 
of the same. That this Colony shall be divided into three distinct 
and separate Counties (whereof the whole Colony shall consist) 
in the following manner : The towns of Newport, Portsmouth, 
James Town, New Shoreham, and the rest of the Islands adja- 
cent, heretofore within the Jurisdiction of either of said to;wns 
shall be constituted and hereby made one County, and shall be 
known by the name of the County of Newport ; and Newport 
shall be the County Town. 

" The Towns of Providence, Warwick and East Greenwich, 
and all such places within Jurisdiction of said Towns shall be 
constituted and hereby made one other County, and shall be 
known by the name of the County of Providence ; and the Town 
of Providence shall be the County Town. 

" The Towns of South Kingstown, North Kingstown and 
Westerly, and all places within the Bounds of either of said 
Towns shall be constituted and are hereby made one other 
County, and shall be known by the name of Kings County, and 
South Kingstown shall be the County Town." 

The general assembly passed an act October 29th, 1781, alter- 
ing and changing the name and style of the county heretofore 
called Kings county in this state into the name and style of 

" Whereas, Since the Declaration of the Independence of the 
United States of America it becomes the Wisdom of the rising 
Republic to obliterate as far as may be every Trace and Idea of 
that Government which threatened our Destruction. 

" Be it therefore enacted by this General Assembly and by the 
Authority thereof it is hereby enacted That the name of Kings 
County, by which the .Southernmost County in this State was here- 


tofore distinguished shall forever hereafter cease ; and that in 
perpetual and grateful Remembrance of the eminent and most 
distinguished services and heroic actions of the illustrious Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the Forces of the United States of America, 
the said Count}' shall forever hereafter be known and called in 
all Legislative Acts, legal proceedings, conveyances, etc., by the 
name and style of Washington." 

In area the county is thirty-one and five tenths per cent, of that 
of the entire state, and its population is seven and four tenths per 
cent. Its population in 1708 was 1,770: in 1730, ."),. '554 ; in 1790, 
18,075; in 1800, 16,135; in 1885, 22,444. 

A great change has come over the country. Instead of iin al- 
most unbroken wilderness, with here and there an Indian trail, 
we now find roads, cultivated fields and farms, on which are 
flocks, herds, orchards, poultry yards and varioiis means of com- 
fort and luxury. Among the more interesting places aside from 
picturesque forests, hills, springs, rocks and swamps, are Indian 
burial grounds, the site of Richard Smith's block house and 
Roger Williams' trading house, the " Devil's Foot Prints," " Ptir- 
gatory," " Wolf Rocks," etc. 

Court House and Jail. — At the June session of the general as- 
sembly held at Newport in 1733 an act accepting the account for 
building the county house in Kings county was passed as follows : 

" Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that the acc't delivered 
by Rouse Helme, amounting to ;^791,2s.3d. be hereby allowed 
and that the sum of ;£'270,19s.3d. be paid out of the public treas- 
ury, the same being the full balance of the account." 

The site of the court house was changed from Tower Hill to 
Little Rest Hill, both in the town of South Kingstown, in 1752. 
The three towns of Westerly, Charlestown and Exeter appear to 
have voted almost unanimously for the change, while in South 
Kingstown 51 voted for it and 21 against it. From the old 
records in the state library at Providence we copy the following : 

■' Little Rest Hill ts. Tower Hill. 

"To the Honorable General Assembly to sit at South Kings- 
town by Adjournment, in and for the Colony of Rhode Island, 
etc., the last Tuesday in February in 1752. 

" The humble petition of divers persons, inhabitants of the 
Town of South Kingstown, and other towns in the County of 
Kings County, Humbly show : 

" That we having a long time taken notice of labored under 


the many inconveniences that attend the situation of the Court 
House on Tower Hill, being in a very remote corner of the 
county, that the said house and jail are out of repair ; that it will 
take a good deal of money to put them in tolerable repair, but 
never can be made good for they were miserably built at first ; 
that they will always be wanting repairs ; and this colony will be 
at continual charge to keep them fit for use, and that there is no 
likelihood of any end to the charge and expense thereof, except 
by pulling them down ; and the Court House is so bad that we 
are ashamed your Honors should so endanger your lives as to sit 
in it this time of the year, when a hard storm would almost blow 
it down." 

The petitioners further stated: "That Col. Elisha Reynolds 
will give a Deed to this Colony of a piece of land of a convenient 
bigness for a Court House there, and Mr. Robert Potter of South 
Kingstown will give a Deed of land commodious for a Jail House 
and Yard, etc., and that there is a great number of people to- 
gether with the said Col. Reynolds have subscribed and many 
more will subscribe to build a handsome Court House and Jail on 
said Little Rest Hill," etc. 

In 3774 William Potter was appointed to procure a new court 
house and was permitted to draw out of the general treasury 
;^300 lawful money toward carrying on the said building. In 
1775 Mr. Potter drew out ;£'270,8s.7d. more for the same purpose ; 
in 1776 ;£'800 again, and had the glazing, painting and finishing 
done. At the October session held at South Kingstown the old 
court house was up for sale by order of the general assembly 
then holding their session at that place. The building was to be 
sold by the sheriff at public vendue on the second day of Novem- 
ber at two o'clock. It was again advertised on the 9th of June 
next, and again at the August session, again on the 22d of Sep- 
tember, and again at the October session. It was finally sold 
September 24th, 1777, at public vendue to Silas Niles for $260. 

A county jail was first built on Kingston hill in 1730. The 
general assembly ordered it to be near Robert Case's dwelling 
house in South Kingstown. This jail had its cells in the lower 
part of the building and the upper part was devoted to the use of 
the jailor. The cells were constructed of solid masonry. The 
part above was made of wood. 

In the year 1790 John Gardiner, Samuel J. Potter and Rowland 
Brown, of South Kingstown, having been appointed by the gen- 


eral assembly to build a jail in Washington county, contracted 
with Colonel Thomas Potter for a lot on the south side of the 
road opposite the old jail. The committee were instructed to 
build this jail 40 by 32 feet and to contain two stories. They 
were instructed " to procure the necessary materials and to cop- 
tract for the work upon the best terms they can," and for this 
purpose were empowered to draw out of the general treasury the 
sum of i;2,100 in the bills of credit emitted by the state. 

The first jail built in the village of Kingston was subsequently 
used as a hat factory by Cyrus French. It now forms the west 
end of the residence of Mrs. William W. French. The second 
jail was built of wood. The present jail is the third building, 
and stands on the site formerly occupied by the second jail 

On October 3d, 1770, the jail was broken open at night by per- 
sons in disguise and the prisoners, the greater part of them 
counterfeiters, of whom one named Casey was under sentence 
of death, made their escape upon horses provided by their 

Execution of Thomas Carter. — The first execution occurred 
when George the Second was king. At this time Thomas Carter, 
a native of Newport, was hung in chains May 10th, 1751. The 
three justices were Jonathan Randall, John Walton and B. Has- 
sard. The hangman's bill (.^50) was paid to Beriah Brown, sheriff, 
for executing the prisoner. The second execution took place a 
short distance west of Kingston hill, in the road, four or five rods 
west of a large chestnut tree. The tree was cut down in 1877. 
Mr. Thomas Mount was the victim. He was buried a few rods 
west of that place at the foot of a large cherry tree which blew 
down in 1869. Two rude stones mark the grave. 

Mr. J. Wilson thus speaks of Thomas Carter : " In the year 1751 
Thomas Carter had his trial for the murder of Jackson, and was 
sentenced to be hung in gibbets ; which took place on the train- 
ing lot at the foot of Tower Hill near the Pettaquamscutt river. 
The body of Carter swung there many years by the winds ; but 
finally the gallows rotted down, and the irons, with the bones 
attached to them, were carried to the blacksmith shop of Joseph 
Hull, the man who made the irons, and they were removed from 
the bones. One of the scholars who attended the school of Master 
Ridge kept one of the bones under his seat in the school house 
to crack walnuts with. Jackson was not a dealer in furs as has 


been sometimes stated. He sold buckskin leather, and carried it 
on horseback behind him. He belonged to Pennsylvania, and 
in his peregrinations about the country had been in the habit of 
passing this place for several years in the latter part of autumn 
on his way to and from Newport. The leather was made up into 
overalls, which were worn by many of the inhabitants, more es- 
pecially when they were engaged in wall making ; it was also 
made into mittens. 

" Carter was a seafaring man, and overtook Jackson on his way 
and pretended to be sick ; Jackson sympathized with him on ac- 
count of his unfortunate condition, rendered him assistance, and 
suffered him to ride his horse most of the way, whilst he himself 
traveled on foot. Many times Carter pretended to be very sick 
in order to delay the time of their arrival, and they stopped many 
times on their way. They stopped at a Mrs. Combs', who was called 
upon at the trial. This woman was the first who recognized Jack- 
son when he was found, by a button that she had noticed on his 
vest and by a gray spot on his head." 

In this connection another writer, speaking of one place where 
they stopped for the night, says: "The widow Nash lived 
in a house on the east side of the old Post road, about one mile 
from Dockray's corner. Sometime during the winter of 1751, 
two travelers stopped late in the afternoon at the house. That 
night Mrs. Nash had the kindness to dress their hair, and play- 
fully remarked to the smaller of the two, whilst so engaged, that 
if he was murdered she could identify his person by a round 
block of his hair that marked his head. 

" About sunset the two men proceeded on their way, being de- 
sirous of reaching Franklin Ferry and passing over to Newport 
that night. The smaller of the two men before mentioned, whose 
name was Jackson, had started from Virginia with a horse load 
of deer skins which he intended to convey to Boston, and he was 
joined on the way by Captain Thomas Carter, an old privateers- 
man of Newport, Rhode Island, who had been shipwrecked 
somewhere on the sea-coast south of Chesapeake, and was mak- 
ing his way home on foot. After these two men left the house 
of Mrs. Nash, it appears they passed over the southern portion 
of Tower hill in the evening, at which place and time Carter 
knocked Jackson from his horse by hitting him with a stone. 
Jackson, however, recovered himself and ran to an old uninhab- 
ited house near by which was the only semblance of a habitation 


within a mile and more of the spot, where he was pursued and 
beaten to death by Carter. After the murder Carter then pro- 
ceeded on his way with Jackson's horse and pack, having pre- 
viously dragged his victim down the hill to an estuary called 
Pettaquamscutt cove and shoved the corpse under the ice. A few 
days after this transaction, a man while spearing for eels fished 
up the body, which was afterward identified by Mrs. Nash as the 
stranger with the black spot on his head and to whom she had 
spoken so ominously before. 

" The place where Jackson was knocked down by Carter is 
still marked by a .stone at the base of the road wall directly west 
of the exact spot, with the figures 1741 engraved upon it. This 
stone, near the junction of the road and the north line of the 
lot, is where the ruins of the old Carter and Jackson chimney 
stood. Nicholas Austin subsequently erected a house on this 
very- same site." 

The following is a copy of the wi'it issued in the year 1751 , for 
the execution of Thomas Carter : 

" Rhode Island, Kings County, Sc. 

'■ George the Second, by the Grace of God King of Great 
Britain, F'rance and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc. To Our 
Sheriff of our County of Kings County, or to his Deputy : 
Cireeting : 

" Whereas, at our superior court of Judicature Court of Assize 
and General Jail Delivery ; Began and held at South Kingstown 
in and for our County of Kings County, on the first Tuesday of 
April, in the twenty-fourth year of our reign, A. D. 1751, 
Thomas Carter late of Newport in our County of Newport mar- 
riner ; was legally convicted of murdering William Jackson late 
of Virginia, Trader ; and was also convicted of robbing the said 
William Jackson and feloniously taking and carrying away from 
him his money to the value of one thousand and eighty pounds 
of the old tenor, and, 

" ir/trrras, Our aforesaid Coart held as aforesaid Did Pass and 
pronounce wSentence against the Said Thomas Carter in the words 
following, viz. : You Thomas. Carter being legallv convicted of 
murdering William Jackson late of Virginia, trader, and also 
convicted of robbing him of a horse, leather and monev to the 
value of ii'lOSO, O. T., wherefore tis the Sentence of this Coart that 
you be carried to the jail from whence you came and closely 
confined till Friday the lOth of May, A. I)., 1751, and then be 


■drawn to the place of execution and there Between the hours of 
Eleven o'clock forenoon, and two in the afternoon to be hung by 
the Neck till you are Dead and then your body to be cut down 
and Hanged in Chains near the place of Execution till consumed, 
of which Execution Remains to be done, 

" AVe therefore strictly Charge and Command you to Prepare 
and Provide a Suitable Gallows to be erected in South Kings- 
town in or near the place called the Training Field and in some 
Convenient Time before the day of Execution appointed in the 
above Said Sentence being the Tenth Day of May, A.D., 1751 ; 
and also to provide suitable and proper materials in order to 
hang the body of aforesaid Criminal in Chains according to the 
aforesaid Sentence and on the aforesaid Tenth Day of May You 
are hereby Commanded to take proper and sufficient aid, and 
then You are to Proceed and Execute Said Sentence at the time 
therein appointed for the Same to be Done, And for so doing 
This Shall be your Sufficient Warrant. 

"Given under the Hands and Seals of three Justices of said 
Coart at South Kingstown aforesaid the vSixth Day of April, in 
the Twenty-fourth year of our Reign, A.D., 1751. 

"Jonathan Randai.i,, 
"John Walton, 
" B. Hazard." 

Trial of Daniel Harry. — Daniel Harry, a Narragansett In- 
dian, was tried for the murder of Toby Ross's son. Toby Ross 
at that time was by far the most influential man in the tribe. 
Ross was killed in the evening at an Indian dance. This was in 
1839. Albert C. Greene was then the attorney general of the 
state. Wilkins Updike and the late Nathaniel F. Dixon were the 
counsel for the prisoner. Job Durfee was the chief justice who 
presided at the trial, Levi Haile and William P. Staples 
were the associate justices, Powell Helm was the clerk, and 
Francis B. Segar was the sheriff. The jurors were as follows : 
John P. Whitford, William B. Robinson, Robert Gardiner, Jr., 
Albert W. Clarke, W^illiam Steadman, Joseph P. Babcock, Niles 
Potter, Elisha Watson, Jr., Samuel Underwood, Daniel Sherman, 
James Greene and Alfred Bicknell. 

The court was two days in getting the jury. There were over 
eighty jurors called before a panel was obtained. The proof ad- 
duced was that Ross had alienated the affections of Harry's 
-wife and during this drunken frolic in the night, the lights were 


blown out and Ross was stabbed and killed. It was well under- 
stood also by the counsel that there was a white man in Charles- 
town who had a great enmity against Ross, and wanted to get 
him out of the way, and it was believed he had incited either 
Harry or another Indian to commit the deed. After a protracted 
trial the jury returned a verdict of guilty. 

Harry had not a relative or friend near him during the whole 
trial. He was a pure Indian and a fine specimen of his race. He 
sat calm and unmoved as a statue from the beginning to the end 
of the trial, and when he was brought into the court room to hear 
the verdict of the jury and listen to the death sentence from the 
court, he did not exhibit the slightest evidence of emotion. 

The court was lighted and filled with people, when he was or- 
dered to stand up and receive his sentence. Judge Staples, who 
was a true Quaker in his religious beliefs, retired from the bench 
and when Judge Durfee delivered the sentence, he utterly broke 
down, the tears coursing down his cheeks ; but the little friend- 
less Indian stood there calm and unmoved. When the sheriff 
took him from the court house to the jail Mr. Hazard, who assist- 
ed the attorney general in the case, walked beside him. He said, 
" As we walked along Mr. Harry looked up at the moon and re- 
marked : ' The moon looks pleasant, I haven't seen it before since 
I was put in jail.' " 

He was of course sentenced to be hanged, but the court merci- 
fully gave time enough for an application to be made to the gen- 
eral assembly for pardon or a change of sentence, and when the 
legislature met, Mr. Dixon presented a petition for a change of 
sentence, in the prosecution of which Mr. Hazard aided him all 
he could, being at that tinie clerk of the House of Representa- 
tives. The result was that his sentence was commuted to solitary 
imprisonment for life. 

After he had spent ten years in one of those little cells in the 
old state prison, Mr. Dixon and Mr. Hazard petitioned for a full 
pardon. It was granted and for the next succeeding thirty-five 
years he lived with his family in South Kingstown, .-m honest, 
respectable and well-behaved man. It was not at the time of the 
trial believed he committed the murder, and this fact was sub- 
stantiated before his death ; and in view of his approaching dis- 
.solution he said he did not do it but that he knew who com- 
mitted the deed, and Indian like he would not give his name. 
He would not betra)' him to save his own life. 


September Gale of 1815.— On the 23d day of September, 1815, 
a most terrific storm, accompanied with thunder and lightning, 
visited the coast of New England and spread desolation and dis- 
may in every direction. In a southeasterly direction from South 
Kingstown, a confused mass of bright copper-colored clouds was 
seen, which dazzled the sight almost as much as the sun would, 
shining with its full effulgence. A mass of clouds arose from 
the horizon and after assuming the arch-like proportions of the 
rainbow, was driven with frightful rapidity toward the zenith, 
whilst upon either side were broken clouds that kept up a kind 
of vibrating and trembling motion that it is difficult to describe. 

It was generally supposed that the storm was caused by a sub- 
marine volcanic eruption. This opinion was somewhat con- 
firmed by the statement of the captain and crew of a vessel on 
her way from the Bermudas to Boston, who positively stated 
that, when about one hundred miles distant from Point Judith in 
a southeasterly direction, they saw a dense smoke arise from the 
ocean some miles in-shore, followed by a blaze and fire which ap- 
peared to extend over a space of a quarter of a mile. A violent 
southeast wind arose and continued to increase until it became a 
frightful hurricane. It was different from any gale ever before 
witnessed. The wind would blow in one direction for fifteen or 
twenty minutes and then it would lull for a moment and again 
resume its former direction with increased velocity. All build- 
ings that had not substantial frames were blown down and the 
materials scattered in every direction ; many others were un- 
roofed, and the tunnels of the chimneys were swept away. Trees 
of all descriptions were either broken down or uprooted, and 
even the white oak, which is called the "monarch of the forest," 
was prostrated to the ground. Fences, and in some cases stone 
walls, were no protection to corn fields, for they were blown 
down and the cattle had free range after they had got over their 
fright. Stacks of fodder were blown over and the contents scat- 
tered all over the meadows. The spray was driven twenty miles 
from the sea, and was recognized by the fruit which had a salt 
taste. The waves of the sea rose to a frightful height, and 
broke over Little Neck Beach and washed the sand hills in every 
direction. Before the gale a range of sand hills extended nearly 
the whole length of the beach, with intervening spaces which 
were partly covered with a rank growth of beach grass and a few 
scattering bunches of bayberry bushes, which afforded shelter 


for many small birds who deposited their eggs there during the 
summer season and reared their young birds. The middle 
bridge over the Pettaquamscutt river was swept away, as the water 
extended from the foot of the hill on the Dyer farm to a consid- 
erable distance up the pasturage, beyond the first wall east of the 
bridge. Two families occupied a house which stood at the north- 
eastern extremity of Little Neck Beach, and some members of 
each family were drowned, for the house was swept away by the 
flood. James Phillips, the father of one of the families (a white 
man), after the water had ascended some feet above the floor, 
laid hold on a chest and floated a mile up the river and cove and 
landed alive on the Hannah Hill meadow. Jesse Weeden (a col- 
ored man) was last seen alive on the top of the house hanging to 
the chimney, but was at length carried away and found dead 
upon the farm of Mr. Nichols. William Short, a lad ten years of 
age, was found on the Samuel Helm lot adjoining the homestead 
of Stephen Caswell, and two colored children were also found 
there. These three children were buried in the evening in the 
orchard of the Dyer farm, then owned by John J. Watson. 

Captain John A. Saunders was building his first vessel on the 
training lot (as it was called) at this time, but she was not carried 
away, for he had blocked her up very high in order to square her 
bottom ; but his temporary workshop was thrown down and tools 
scattered all around. The water rose very high at New York 
and at all the intervening places between there and Boston. The 
most furious work of the hurricane was on the coast between 
Cape Cod and New London. Several vessels were wrecked and 
quite a number of seamen were drowned. When the storm com- 
menced six men on Point Judith, whose names were William 
Knowles and his son William, Joseph Hawkins, Jabez Allen and 
two colored boys named Joseph and Peter Case, went to the 
beach to secure a boat, but becoming frightened by an enormous 
wave (which was thought to be forty feet high when it broke by 
those who saw it), took refuge in an ox-cart, but were swept 
away and drowned. The bodies of all of these men were found 
when the waters subsided, with the exception of William 
Knowles' son, whose body was found twenty-one days afterward 
on Ram Island by Jeremiah W. Whalley, who in company with 
his cousin Ezekiel was on the island, gunning. William 
Knowles' son, without doubt, landed on the island alive, and had 


crawled up sotne little distance out of reach of the tide, but was 
so much exhausted that he died there. 

The beginning of the present century marked an era in the 
progress of the country. By this time traces of the late war had 
somewhat disappeared, and there was a brighter promise for the 
future. In the meantime an intercourse with the West Indies 
had sprung up and the coast trade, which the war had interrupted, 
"was again resumed. Brigs and schooners and ships were loaded 
at the wharves on the coast line and especially at Wickford, and 
the crops of the country for miles around were shipped by sea 
and exchanged for the tropical productions of the Antilles. " Few 
places in Rhode Island," says Baker, " at this time witnessed 
greater mercantile activity than AVickford, which even rivalled 
Providence and bid fair, with surpassing facilities, to become one 
of the leading emporiums of the state." 

Providence merchants, seeing the advantages which Wickford 
possessed for foreign trade, caught the spirit of enterprise, and 
the founder of the present firm of '' Browne & Ives " even went 
so far as to negotiate for land along the harbor, but the owners 
demanded exorbitant prices, and so the welfare of the town 
was sacrificed by the penuriousness of individuals. An attempt 
was also made to secure the Connecticut valley trade, and with 
this in view a road was surveyed to Jewett City, but before the 
plans were matured Providence, anticipating the benefit of such 
a move, had laid out a turnpike road ; and this fact, with the sud- 
den death of Remington vSouthwick, the most earnest advocate 
of the scheme, disheartened the others and the project was aban- 

Nearly all the vessels employed at this time were launched 
from the shipyards in Wickford. Mr. Baker says there were as 
many as five large vessels at one time on the stocks. Captain 
John McKinzie was an extensive builder and pursued his busi- 
ness near the site of the present Bobbin mill. " The Union," a 
full rigged ship (with two exceptions the largest at that time in 
the state), was constructed north of Gardiner's wharf, and in 1816, 
at the extreme head of the cove just southeast of Mr. James' 
residence was built the sloop " Resolution," more familiarly 
styled the " Reso ;" " That old argonautic craft," says Baker, 
"whose name will always be synonymous with huckleberries 
and 'lections." But in North Kingstown shipbuilding entirely 
ceased, and in a few years the last West India-man disappeared, 


but what the village of Wickford lost North Kingstown gained. 
The enterprise of the town was now changed into new channels, 
and from this time the sound of the adze and the hammer, the 
voice of the loom, and the busy hum of machinery were heard. 

Ship Building.— This industry has been carried on along the 
banks of the Pawcatuck river and shores of the sea and Narra- 
gansett bay to a considerable extent. The names of the ship. 
Wrights have been numerous. From Westerly to Wickford fish- 
ing boats and keels, of various size, have graduated seamen and 
captains for the remotest oceans and seas. 

The three-masted schooner was the result of the ingenious im- 
provements made from time to time by Captain John Aldrich 
Saunders, a man of,excellent character and a famous shipwright. 
He was born near Pawcatuck Bridge in 1786, and died at Tower 
Hill, South Kingstown, in 1832. 

Reverend Frederick Denison, in " Westerly and Its Wit- 
nesses," speaking of the early shipwrights, says : " Ship building 
was early carried on along the banks of the Pawcatuck, from the 
river's mouth to the head of navigation on both banks. These 
crafts have been of all tonnage and rig, from sloops to ships. 
Some of these did service in the early wars. 

" The first shipwright in the town was Mr. Joseph Wells, who 
bought the sight for his yard of George Denison, near Pawcatuck 
Rock. The prominent builders of later times, beginning near 
1800, were Nathan Potter, Joseph Barber, Silas Greenman, Sen., 
Elisha Lanphear, George Sheffield, Hazard Crandall, Silas 
Greemnan, Jr., John Brown, H. & F. Sheffield, George S. Green- 

" The first steamboat built on the river was constructed near 
1840, by Sprague Barber, and named the ' Novelty.' The 
steamer built and plying on the river in 1869 was called the 
' Florence.' 

" The early merchants of Westerly were usually ship owners 
as well to some degree. Prior to the general introduction of 
mechanical enterprises, the wealth of the town went out exten- 
sively upon the seas. From 1800 to 1835 numerous fishing keels 
were fitted for the Newfoundland and Labrador coasts. The 
cargoes, sold at home and in foreign ports, realized important 
returns. The West Indian trade was popular and lucrative ; 
produce, staves, mules and horses were exchanged for rum, mo- 
lasses and dry goods." 


Joseph Peace Hazard, in speaking of Captain Saunders in the 
Narragansett Register, says : " That he appears to have devoted 
himself to boat building from boyhood, and to have discovered 
that the American sycamore — buttonwood, that is nearly valueless 
for other purposes, is the best wood for keels that New England 
affords, and to have used and tested it accordingl5^" 

In 1809 he built at his father's house, near Dorrville, and five 
miles from Westerly, his first vessel, a fishing sloop, which he 
named " Catherine." She was twenty-five tons burden, and was 
built for his own use, but was afterward sold to Peter Tebo for 
$500 in specie. His wife, Catherine, spun yarn, tow and linen, 
and his sister, Lydia, wove it into cloth, which was sent to New 
London to be cut and made into sails. With his own hands he 
made the tools which he used in shaping the hull. It was rolled 
on huge wheels to Pawcatuck river, distant some five miles. 
With it he removed his family to Newport, where he had better 
facilities for building. He located his ship-yard on Audley 
Clarke's wharf, near the present Perry mill. After selling the 
"Catherine" he took the money to build the " King Fisher," a 
fishing sloop of about 30 tons, the keel of which was laid in this 
yard. This vessel was launched in 1811. She was a very good 
sailing vessel, and he commanded her himself. He brought fish 
from Nantucket to New Haven and Providence markets. Dur- 
ing the year 1812 she was chartered by Rouse Babcock, of West- 
erly, to take a load of goods from Newport to Westerly. She 
sailed out of Newport with a strong breeze, but before she 
reached Brenton's Reef the wind died out and she was becalmed. 
The English man-of-war, "Orpheus," lay off Brenton's Reef, 
and seeing the helpless sloop, sent a barge and captured her. 
She was taken alongside and unloaded, the sailors feasting on 
ginger-bread which they found in her cargo. Beipg too small 
to take to Halifax, Captain Saunders and his crew were set at 
liberty. Phillip Tappen, observing this sight, supposed that 
Captain Saunders was trading with the English. Captain 
Saunders was set ashore on Martha's Vineyard, and his vessel 
sold in Nantucket that same day. Phillip Tappen was shot. 
Captain Saunders reached mainland by an Indian canoe, and 
plodded his way homeward on foot to Westerly, whither he had 
removed his family a short time before. His vessel was gone, 
not a cent of money was in his pocket, and all the clothes he 
had in the world were on his back. Thus disabled he built 


small vessels for awhile, and about 1813 he moved to South 

On the training lot at the foot of Tower Hill he built the first 
centreboard vessel that was ever built in this section of the coun- 
try, or in Rhode Island. She was called the " Dolphin," and was 
his third vessel. Though but few vessels are built in these days 
without centreboards, this vessel was a wonder on account of it. 
Captain Saunders ran her himself awhile in general freighting, 
and then sold her to Adam States, of Stonington, Conn. He took 
half the price in stoneware, which he sold afterward in Newport 

Captain Saunders next built the " Eagle," his fourth vessel,, 
in the year 1814, for John Jay Watson. In all he built nine 
vessels on the training lot above mentioned, about two miles 
west of Watson's pier, and on the west side of Pettaquamscutt 

The fifth vessel was the " Commerce," built by a stock com- 
pany, in 1815. " In this vessel the movable keel was made in 
three different portions, so that one, two or all three could be 
lowered. It was soon discovered that the three united would 
work better, and the change was therefore made. The celebrated 
' Nailor Tom ' did the iron work about the keel sheath, etc., 
when this change was made." 

The following are the names of other vessels built by Captain 
Saunders : 

" Dolphin," a small sloop. 

"Sally," a sloop of 60 tons burden. It went to South America 
in 1817. 

" Rising Sun," a sloop of 60 tons, built in 1819. 

" Narragansett," a sloop of 35 tons burden, 1820. 

" Harriet," a sloop of 120 tons burden, 1821. 

" Alabny," a sloop of 120 tons burden, 1823. 

" Nonsuch," a fiat-bottomed schooner, built like a sharpie. She 
was built for three masts. Her keel was laid in 1822. She was 
the second and last vessel built at the Snuff mill by Captain 

There was at that time a great deal of oak and chestnut tim- 
ber in North Kingstown. The timber for this vessel was cut 
on the Hammond farm, near by, and hauled from the stump in 
one day. In describing this vessel Mr. Hazard says : " The ' Non- 
such ' was original in several respects, and so peculiar that nu- 


merous were the nicknames bestowed upon her. One was be- 
stowed by Francis Carpenter, who characterized her as the ' sea 
serpent.' Others called her the 'Flying Dragon.' Her frame 
was laid with three keels, parallel with each other, sixty-five feet 
in length, with a sheath in the middle for the centreboard or the 
movable keel that adapted her to shoal water as well as deep 
with availability also. Her beam was eighteen feet, her depth 
amidship only two feet ; but having a break of two feet forward 
and the same aft, with a trunk cabin on the latter of eighteen 
inches in additional height thereto. She was enabled to have a 
cabin aft of five and a half feet in height for the accommodation 
of the crew, in which was a fireplace and a chimney of brick. 

" This unique craft, having a broad as well as a flat bottom, 
her hold was spacious in proportion to her tonnage, at the same 
time her draft being very little, being only 10 inches when light 
and 24 inches when loaded. 

" Hers was the first center-board ever used excepting the sec- 
tional one that Captain Saunders had put in the ' Commerce ' in 
1816. * * * The ' Nonsuch ' was fore and aft rigged and had 
three masts, hence a schooner instead of a ship or barque. She 
was steered not by a direct tiller but by means of a wheel, this 
being the first helm (it is said) of the kind that was used and 
therefore an invention of the captain's." 

The next vessel built by Captain Saunders was the " South 
Kingstown," a sloop of 25 tons, built in 1824, and said to be the 
fastest sailer in Narragansett bay. She was lost on the shore of 
the seaside farm just below Narragansett Pier. The " Sea Bird " 
was a hermaphrodite brig of over 200 tons, built in 1825, for 
George Engs, afterward lieutenant-governor of Rhode Island. 
Other vessels built by Saunders were the "General Battey," a 
sloop of 120 tons; "The Union," a sloop of 70 tons; the sloop 
" William," 140 tons ; the sloop " Eagle," 30 tons ; " Pocahontas," 
a schooner of 200 tons ; " Kingston," a sloop of 100 tons, and the 
" Lark," the last vessel built by Captain Saunders. It was built 
in 1832 for John Jay Watson. This was his twenty-second ves- 
sel and was finished by his son, John A. Saunders, after his 
father's death. 

An incident occurred in the life of this son worthy of repeti- 
tion. When a boy young Saunders often went to sea in a little 
fishing boat alone, and as far as the famous Codfish and Squid 
Ledge near Block Island Sound, a dozen miles away. On one of 


these occasions a storm threatened approaching danger, and he 
hastily set about for a return to Narrow river. To his dismay he 
could not raise his anchor. He tugged in vain but it was evi- 
dently fouled ; to cut the rope would be to lose his killick, so he 
dove down to the bottom, following the rope as a leader and 
found one of the flukes fast in the seam of the ledge, but striking 
it like a pearl diver, he finally disengaged it and was soon after 
sailing away for home. 

When Fulton's steamboat made her first trip from New York 
to Providence she displaced her machinery when off Squid Ledge 
and stopped for repairs. The people on shore thought it was a 
wreck and made preparations to board her. Their surprise, how- 
ever, was great to see her steam away under control like a ship 
without masts and on fire. 

Jonas Minturn married Penelope Brown, of South Kingstown 
December 21st, 1732. He lived and died on his own farm in Nar- 
ragansett. His son William Minturn exhibited an energy and 
decision of character which were conspicuous. Desirous of see- 
ing more of the world, he made several voyages from Newport 
in a ship of which he was mate, and was so successful he after- 
ward became captain and subsequently an owner of a vessel him- 
self. He became greatly distinguished as a successful merchant 
and a benevolent and public-spirited citizen. 

In 1788, many of the first citizens of Rhode Island and Massa- 
chusetts associated themselves together for the important object 
of founding a city on the Hudson river. Mr. Minturn became 
eminently conspicuous in this undertaking, because of his pru- 
dence and foresight in the founding of the city of Hudson. In 
1791 he moved to New York city and continued a successful mer- 
cantile career until his death in 1799. 

Social Indulgences. — The state of society on account of so 
much wealth and leisure in those early times was productive of 
festivities and of dissipations. Excursions to Hartford, pace 
races on the beach, corn huskings, festivals in the autumn, wed- 
ding celebrations, the fox chase with hounds and horses, fishing, 
fowling, etc., were among the indulgences of the times. 

At the corn husking festivals invitations were extended to all 
those proprietors who were in the habits of family intimacy, 
and in return the invited guests sent their slaves to aid the host 
by their services. At these large gatherings expensive enter- 
tainments would be prepared, and after the repast dancing would 


be commenced as a recreation. Every family was provided with 
a large hall in their spacious mansion and had natural musicians 
among their slaves. Updike, in speaking of these festivals, says : 
" Gentlemen in their scarlet coats and swords, with laced ruffles 
over their hands, hair turned back from the forehead and curled 
and frizzled, clubbed or queued behind, highly powdered and 
pomatumed, small clothes, silk stockings and shoes ornamented 
with brilliant buckles, and ladies dressed in brocade, cushioned 
head-dresses, and high heeled shoes, performed the formal min- 
uet with its thirty-six different positions and changes. These 
festivities would sometimes continue for days and the banquets 
among the land proprietors would, for a longer or shorter time, 
be continued during the season of harvest. These seasons of 
hilarity and festivity were as gratifying to the slaves as to their 
masters, as bountiful preparations were made and like amuse- 
ments were enjoyed by them in the large kitchens and out houses, 
the places of their residences. The great land proprietors indulged 
in these expensive festivals until the revolution. People now liv- 
ing relate the fact of John Potter having had a thousand bushels 
of corn husked in one day. This practice was continued occa- 
sionally down to the year 1800, but on a diminished scale of ex- 
pense and numbers. 

" At Christmas commenced the holy days. The work of the 
season was completed and done up, and the twelve days were gen- 
erally devoted to festive associations. In former times all connec- 
tions by blood or affinity were entitled to respectful attentions, 
and they were treated as welcome guests as a matter of right on 
one side and courtesy on the other. Every gentleman of estate 
had his circle of connections and acquaintances and they were in- 
vited from one plantation to another. Every member of a fami- 
ly had his particular horse and servant, and they rarely rode un- 
attended by their servants, to open gates and to take charge of 
the horse. Carriages were unknown and the public roads were 
not so good nor so numerous as at present. Narragansett has 
fewer public roads than most parts of the state. There were drift- 
ways from one plantation to another, with gates, and this incon- 
venient obstruction still continues. Quidnessett is traveled mostly 
through gates and from one extreme of Boston Neck to the other, 
a distance of ten miles through the richest tract of land in Narra- 
gansett, the only mode of traveling is by driftAvays with gates, 
and the great Point Judith tract had no public road until lately. 


" When all the riding was done on horseback, servants always; 
attended their masters, the badness of the roads and the trouble- 
some impediments of gates and bars were not as sensibly felt as 
at this day when carriages are used and every man is his own- 

" But the wedding was the great gala of olden times. The 
exhibition of expensive apparel and the attendance of numbers 
almost exceeds belief. The last of these celebrations was given 
about the year 1790 by Nicholas Gardiner. He dressed in the 
rich style of former days, with a cocked hat, full bottomed white 
wig, snuff colored coat, and waistcoat with deep pockets, cape 
low, so as not to disturb the wig and at the same time expose the 
large silver stock buckle of the plaited neck-cloth of white linen 
cambric ; small clothes and white topped boots finely polished. 
He was a portly, courteous gentleman of the old school. Since 
his death his estate has been divided into several good farms. 

" The fox chase, with hounds and horns, fishing and fowling, 
was enchanting recreation. Wild pigeons, partridges, quail, 
woodcock, squirrels and rabbits were innumerable. Such were 
the amusements, pastimes, festivities and galas of ancient Nar- 

It may not be uninteresting to mention the names of some of 
the old families which frequently associated as friends and 
companions. Among them were : Doctor Babcock, Colonel .Stan- 
ton, Colonel Champlin, the two Governor Hazards, Governor 
Robinson, Colonel Potter, Judge Potter, the Gardiners, Colonel 
Willett, Elisha Cole, John and Edward Cole, Judge Helme, Up- 
dike, Nathan Robinson, Colonel Brown, Doctor McSparran, and 
Doctor Fayerweather. They received frequent visits from Doc- 
tor Gardiner, the Sewalls and others from Boston, Doctor Moffatt, 
Judge Lightfoot, Colonel Coddington, George Rome, Judge 
Marchant, the Brentons and others from Newport, several of 
whom owned estates in Narragansett, and spent much of their 
time there with their respective friends and acquaintances. 
These constituted a bright, intellectual and fascinating society. 
Great sociability and interchange of visits prevailed among 
them, and strangers were welcome and treated with old-fashioned 
urbanity and hospitality. But the political acrimony, strifes and 
discord engendered by the revolution broke up and destroyed 
their previously existing intercourse, and harmonious relations 


were never again restored. By that event we became another 
and a new people. 

The Washington County Agricultural Society.*— One 
of the most successful agricultural societies in New England is 
the Washington County Agricultural Society, whose fair grounds 
are located near Kingston depot, in the town of South Kings- 

In 1872 a few farmers in South Kingstown organized a farmers' 
club, and subsequently held a fair at Wakefield. From this club 
and fair originated the county society, which was organized at 
a meeting of citizens from all parts of the county, October 20th, 
1874, held in the court house at Kingston. The first meeting for 
the election of ofhcers was held January 6th, 1875. Rowland 
Hazard, of South Kingstown, was elected president, with seven 
vice-presidents, one from each town in the county ; Henry T. 
Braman, secretary, and Nathan F. Dixon, Jr., treasurer. There 
were about seventy-five life members. The membership fee was 
five dollars. The society was incorporated by the legislature of 
this state at the January session, 1875. 

The society leased of J. P. and George C. Robinson for ten 
years, twenty acres of the Robinson farm, located near Kingston 
depot, built a fence around it and erected an exhibition building, 
100 by 30 feet, an office for the secretary and committees, also a 
few cattle sheds. At a meeting of the executive committee held 
April 28th, 1875, it was voted that a fair be held September 15th 
and 16th " if not stormy." At the same time a resolution was 
passed, cordially inviting the South Kingstown Farmers' Club to 
unite with this society in advancing the agricultural interests of 
this county. 

The first fair was a small affair. Farmers and others seemed 
to wait to see if the society was to be a success before they took 
an active interest in it. But its fairs have steadily increased in 
interest and magnitude until it has become the equal if not the 
superior of any county fair in the country. To meet the demands 
of exhibitors it has been necessary to erect a new building of 
some kind upon the grounds every year. There is now an ex- 
hibition building 240 by 32 feet, 90 feet of which is two-stOry, the 
upper hall being used for display of fancy work and domestic 
manufactures. The cattle sheds are about two thousand feet in 
length, with sheds and pens for sheep and swine, a large build- 
* By John G. Clarke. 

92 HiSTorx.v OF \vasiiin(;t(-)N and kent countiks. 

ing f(-ii- the exhibit of poultry, a large hay barn, eight horse barns 
and a building for lodging men who ha\'e charge of stock. There 
are six wells furnishing excellent water. 

In 1883, needing more land, some acres adjoining, making 
thirty in all, were purchased of the Messrs. Robinson for $0,r)()(). 
The next year a grand stand was erected adjoining the track, 
capable of seating comfortably three thou.sand people, which is 
at all times free to all. The same year Honorable Rc)\vland 
Hazard, president, erected and presented to the society a fine 
hall, which will seat more than one thousand persons. It is an 
ornament to the ground and a valuable addition to the buildings. 
It has been the custom of this society to have during the annual 
fairs addresses, usually from its president, and other literary ex- 

All forms of gambling, all games of chance, all intoxicating 
liquors, negro minstrels and disreputable shows are rigorously 
excluded from the grounds. It has been the constant aim of 
the managers to make the fair something more than a cattle 
show — an educator of the people. The annual addresses of the 
president have been models of their kind, discussing subjects of 
vital interest to the county, and in this respect have given this 
society a character and standing not attained by any other agri- 
cultural society within our knowledge. 

Starting with a debt of $2,000 it has expended $2.'"),000 in erect- 
ing buildings and making improvements, and an equal sum has 
been paid in premiums. 

The number of life members at present is nearly four hundred. 
The membership fee is $10. 

The officers of the society for 1888 were as follows : President, 
Honorable Rowland Hazard ; vice-presidents, Beriah H. Lawton, 
North Kingstown ; John Babcock, South King.stown ; Gideon T. 
Collins, Westerly ; Thomas H. Greene, Hopkinton ; Halsey P. 
Clarke, Richmond ; Edwin A. Kenyon, Charlestown ; Benjamin 
L. Arnold, Exeter; secretary, John G.Clarke ; treasurer, Jesse V. 
B. Watson; auditor, John G. Perry ; executive committee, Row- 
land Hazard, Beriah H. Lawton, William E. Pierce, John Babcock, 
James E. Anthony, (iideon T. Collins, vSamuel II. Cross, Thomas 
H. Greene, William L. Clarke, Jesse V. B. Watson, Halsey P. 
Clarke, John L. Kenyon, Edwin A. Kenyon, A. A. Saunders, M. D., 
Benjamin L. Arnold, Philip A. Money; general .superintendent, 
J. V. B. Watson; chief marshal, Thomas II. (ireenc; committee 


oil fuir, J;iiiK's li. Anthony, Cidcon 'l\ Collins, licriiili ll.Ivawlon, 
A. A.S.-iimdcrs, M.D. 

Mr. Ilax-;ii-(l ]i;is bt'cn prt'sidtHit of this society since it was 
stiirtcul, .Hiid Mr, John (). C'l.'irkc with the exception of one ye;ir 
(the (irst) its secret;iry. 

'I'lii', I'liHiJC S('ll()()i,s. 'Pile public school system of Rhode 
isl.'iiid d;ites l); to the ];d)ors of oiu' niiui, John I lowland. 
'I'his eiiiinent citizen of the slate was born in Newport in 1707, 
and was sont to I'l-ovidciicc at thirt('cn to be a hair dresser's ap- 
|)r(;ntice. I le was a Soldier in the revolutionary war, and ii])on 
his return lionie to Providence he ay^ain served as a barber, and 
had a shop of his own. In later life he w;is treasurer of the first 
savin},y,s bank in I'rovidence, was ])rcsident of the Kliode Island 
Historical Society, and president of ;i peace society of wliieh he 
■'issisteil in the fonii;ition. I le was also a nieinber of theMeehaii- 
ies' Assoc'ia,tioii, and it was in this body in llu; year 1780 that the 
aj^itatioii was be).;iin that led to the establislinient of the public: 
schools. John llowl.and there .and tln'ii be}r;tn to talk .and write 
in beh.alf of some system wouM to the edticatitni of the 
ehihlreii of the m.asses. In his labors he h;id the ).;do(l will of 
many educated nicii. 'riiere were 'I' I'- Ivt'S, ' \.. 
li;dsey, havid \j. li.arnes .and others who been educated in 
the pidilic schools in M.assaehusetls, rdl of whom understood the 
wants in this movement. 

vSubse(|iiently ;i committee was appointed to meet at the house 
of Mr. liowland, when it was resolved to address the j; 
assembly on this subji't't. The in time presented 
to the le^isl.ators. 'IMie subject refei-red by the }.;-ener;d a.s- 
sembly to .a committee which reported in June, l7iH), a bill that ordered to be jirinted .and to be distributed to the 
lowns for in.struction. In the following' ( '"-'tober a bill was ]).as,sed 
by the of representatives, but it was postponed by the 
.senate to the .session held in ii'el)ru.ary, IHOO, when it became a 

'I'his bill .an ,aet to establish free .schools in every town in 
the stale. The bill eii.acted, "Si-etion I, Jk- it en.aeted by the 
( As,si;mbly .and the .authorities thereof, and it is hereby 
en.aeted: That e.aeli .and eveiy town in the St.ate sh.all .annually 
cause to be established and kc:pt at the expense of ,sueh town 
one or more free .schools for the instniction of all the white in- 
h.abitantsof s;iid town, betwi'eii the aK'es of six and twenty years 


in reading, writing and common arithmetic, who may stand in 
need of such instruction and apply therefor. 

"Sec. 2. And be it further enacted. That it shall be the duty 
of the town council of every town to divide said town into so 
many school districts as they shall judge necessary and con- 

This was the system upon which the public schools of the 
state were based. To foster the schools of the parts of the state 
each town was privileged to draw 20 per centum of the amount 
of the state taxes of the preceding year paid into the general 
treasury by said town, provided the same did not exceed in the 
whole the sum of six thousand dollars. There were also other 
provisions made for the erection of school houses, for the election 
of school officers, etc., etc. 

The law met with great opposition, and at the February ses- 
sion of 1803 was repealed. Providence, however, carried the 
system into effect, and those schools have been sustained ever 
since under the organization then begun, and as the whole state 
was brought under a system identical with that proposed by Mr. 
Howland, he may justly be called the founder of the school sys- 
tem of the state. 

Prior to this time the people supported what were then recog- 
nized as private schools, the majority of which were kept in 
dwelling houses, sometimes in some vacant carpenter's shop or 
some old dwelling house. The school rooms were unique in 
those days. The old stone chimney, with a fireplace six or eight 
feet wide, and stone and irons, with a glowing fire made of oak 
or hickory wood ; the cross legged table and the long writing 
desks on two or three sides of the room, the benches of saw mill 
slabs and round legs for a score or more of boys and girls in their 
teens all dressed in moss covered flannel or sheep's gray kersey, 
with a clownish pedagogue for the central figure, constitutes the 
the picture of an antiquated school room in ye olden times. 

The schoolmaster, clad in the old English costume, the stand- 
ing collar, the large broad skirts, the velvet knee breeches, 
buckled tight below the knees, the long gray stockings and the 
shoes with broad buckles, with powdered hair and braided queue; 
with ferule in hand and enough skill to make a goose quill pen, 
had the right to exercise a lordship equal to a monarch over his 
©wn domain. 

Reading, writing and ciphering constituted the curriculum of 


■Studies in those earlier days. In arithmetic the pupil was often 
required to write in manuscript all the sums and principal rules, 
except probably in fractions, which but few teachers were ac- 
quainted with. Sometimes the teacher had a manuscript of his 
■own, and if he could not readily solve the sums for his scholar 
he would resort to it. The books used in the schools were Pike's 
and Daboll's arithmetics, sometimes Dilworth's. In 1783 Noah 
Webster published his spelling book, English grammar, and a 
compilation for reading. These were the first books of the kind 
published in this country, and they soon won general patronage. 
Rules for governing the schools were few and arbitrary. Whip- 
ping the hand with a ferule or leather strap, or causing the dis- 
obedient scholar to hold up a block of three or four pounds 
weight by the hand at full arm's length for five or ten minutes, 
or yoking two scholars together with a yoke — sometimes a boy 
and a girl — or whipping till the tears would come, are a few of the 
rmethods then used to beat a knowledge of the common branches 
into the minds of the rising generation. 

During the latter part of the last century the study of arms 
and the practice thereof robbed the school of its patronage. 
From July 4th, 1776, till October 19th, 1781, when Yorktown sur- 
rendered, the all absorbing question, "what will become of us if 
Washington and his army do not triumph ?" engaged the thoughts 
-of every one. Prior to 1790 so ruinous to educational progress 
had been the effects of the war, that the lower classes, or the 
yeomanry of the land, fancied that learning was deleterious to 
the youth ; the opulent and aristocratic only became patrons of 
the few select schools in the more populous places. To those of 
the latter class Washington Academy of South Kingstown, the 
Pawcatuck Academy, the Frenchtown Catholic Seminary and a 
few others were early opened for public instruction and patron- 
" ized by the rich mostly. 

The different towns, however, took advantage of the enact- 
ment passed in 1800, and immediately began districting their 
respective territories and as far as able erecting school houses. 
In the year 1828 most of the towns throughout the state had 
three or more school houses, most of which had been built by 
■subscription. Of the towns in Washington and Kent counties. 
West Greenwich had two school houses, Richmond two, North 
Kingstown the Elam Academy and one school house besides, 
Exeter three school houses. East Greenwich an academy and in 


all six school houses, Charlestown one school house, Coventry ten 
school houses, Warwick seven school houses. Westerly six school 
houses and South Kingstown one academy and seven school 

From this time forward the state has been alive to every in- 
terest of the public school system. An act was passed by the 
general assembly in 1845 looking more minutely than ever before 
to the needed appropriations and the supervision of the schools. 
Great improvements were made at this time by law in methods 
of instruction, in text books to be used, in establishing teachers' 
institutes, in the appointment of school inspectors, in the grant- 
ing of certificates, etc., etc.; and from that tim.e to the present the 
schools of these two counties under the various enactments of the 
general assembly have progressed rapidly. 

Newspapers. — The first newspaper printed in South Kings- 
town was the South County Jotirnal, the initial number of which 
appeared June 12th, 1858, in the village of Wakefield, with Dun- 
can Gillies as publisher, and Thomas P. Wells, Isaac M. Church 
and A. G. Palmer as associates. June 11th, 1859, the name of 
the paper was changed to the Narragansctt Times, and Thomas P. 
Wells became the publisher, Mr. Gillies returning to his home 
in Scotland. April 26th, 1861, David Dunlop succeeded Mr. 
Wells as publisher. June 7th, 1861, the Times, which had been 
a four-column folio, was enlarged to five columns. In August, 
1864, Mr. Gillies, at the urgent request of Mr. Wells and others, 
returned to Wakefield and again became the publisher and owner 
of the Times, and continued to conduct its affairs until the time 
of his death, which occurred in August, 1881. The paper was 
enlarged several times by Mr. Gillies, and in April, 1880, his office 
was destroyed by fire, but no issue of the paper was missed. 
Work upon a new office was immediately commenced, and dur- 
ing the time of its construction the paper was printed in Provi- 
dence. After the death of Mr. Gillies his sons assumed charge of 
the office and conducted the business under the name of D. Gil- 
lies' Sons. It is now an eight-page paper, with a good subscription 
and advertising patronage. Besides the weekly a daily paper, 
known as the Daily Times, is printed in the summer time in the 
interest of Narragansett Pier. It was started in 1880 by Mr. 

After the erection of the Spencer Block in Phenix, in 1849, a 
printing office was established there by John B. Lincoln. The 


owner of the building purchased a hand press and type and other 
material, and rented them to Mr. Lincoln, who commenced the 
publication of the Kent County Atlas, in May, 1850. The citizens 
were pleased and encouraged the enterprise. Mr. Lincoln pos- 
sessed no business or financial ability, and did not succeed in ob- 
taining from the business sufficient funds to pay expenses ; he 
was a good printer, but beyond that met with no success in man- 
aging the business. He continued at Phenix until 1862, when 
the citizens of East Greenwich purchased the press and materials, 
and Mr. Lincoln, on July 3d, 1852, issued the first number of the 
Kent County Atlas from East Greenwich. No further effort was 
made to establish printing in Phenix until 1860, when Moses 
W. Collins, through the assistance of his friends, started a print- 
ing office, October 15th, 1860. November 1st, 1860, Mr. Collins 
issued the Phenix Weekly Journal, with the following notice : " To 
be published every Thursday by Moses W. Collins, Editor and 
Proprietor. Office in Spencer Building, Phenix. Terms $1 per 
year in advance." Mr. Collins did not succeed much better than 
Mr. Lincoln did. The paper was continued in Mr. Collins' name 
as editor and proprietor until November 21st, 1861, although he 
was not attending to it, and three papers were issued without 
any name of editor or proprietor. The paper issued December 
19th, 1861, contained the name of Ira O. Seamans as editor and 
proprietor. Mr. Seamans continued issuing the paper until 1862, 
when he abandoned the enterprise, and the owner of the press 
and type sold them to E. L. Freeman, of Central Falls, and the 
village was again without a printing office. 

February 22d, 1876, Reuben E. Capron and John H. Campbell, 
under the name of Capron & Campbell, commenced the printing 
business in a building owned by Sylvester R. Nicholas, near the 
railroad station at Harrisville, and issued the first number of the 
Pawtuxet Valley Gleaner, March 25th, 1876. August 1st, 1878, 
Reuben E. Capron sold his interest in the printing office and 
newspaper to John H. Campbell, who continued the business at 
the same place until June 14th, 1879, when he removed the busi- 
ness near to the center of the village, and located in the second 
story in Capron's building, over the bakery, where he continued 
the job printing business >nd the publication of the Pawtuxet 
Valley Gleaner until 1888. A building 44 by 51 feet, three stories 
high, has been erected by Mr. Campbell on the opposite side of 
the street, between the highway and the mill pond, which is 


known as the " Gleaner Building." The first story has two stores, 
the second is occupied by the Gleaner printing establishment 
since June, 1888, and the third story is occupied by the Grand 
Army of the Republic. 

John H. Campbell, printer and editor of the Paivtuxet Valley 
Gleaner, was born in Phenix, Rhode Island, May 27th, 1849. His 
father, Neil Campbell, was a native of the town of Johnstone, 
Renfrewshire, Scotland, where his birth occurred October 12th, 
1817. He emigrated to America in October, 1848, and for a num- 
ber of years resided in Phenix and vicinity, from which point 
the family removed to Providence in 1856. In 1839 Mr. Campbell 
married Catherine Hart, who was born in Wiggin, in England, 
on the 25th of February, 1822, and came to America in May, 1849. 
Their son, John H., was educated in the public schools of Provi- 
dence and the Mt. Pleasant Academy. Choosing journalism as a 
profession, he entered the office of the Providence Press with a 
view to becoming familiar with the printer's art, and was subse- 
quently made foreman of the Chronicle, published at North Attle- 
boro, Massachusetts. In 1876 he, in company with a partner, es- 
tablished the Paivtuxet Valley Gleaner. Two years later, the firm 
being dissolved by the purchase of his partner's interest, he be- 
came sole owner. With the exceptional vigor and judgment 
evinced in its management, the paper now ranks among the 
leading journals of the state. Mr. Campbell, in 1874, married 
Miss Marie Louise Angus, daughter of James and Mary Louise 
Angus, of Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. 

In the year 1854 Mr. William N.Sherman purchased the press, 
type and other material formerly belonging to Mr. Lincoln and 
issued at East Greenwich the first number of the Rhode Island 
Penduluin, on the 27th of May, 1854. Mr. Josiah B. Bowditch is 
now proprietor of the Pendiilmn. 

The Greenwich Enterprise was established in 1879 as the local 
appendix of the Pendnhnn, which was printed in the city of Provi- 
dence. It was then a folio of four columns only, but has since 
been enlarged to seven, and its editor, Thomas C. Brown, has 
made it one of the most attractive and entertaining sheets pub- 
lished in the whole county. The paper continued as the local 
one for the older publication for eight years, when Mr. Brown 
purchased all interests of the paper, and made his first issue as 



an independent paper January 6th, 1888. The Enterprise is in 
every way identified with the people of East Greenwich and their 
interests, and its patronage is good. Mr. Brown is a son of John 
Clark Brown, grandson of Captain Clark Brown and great- 
grandson of Daniel Brown, who was lost at sea with the vessel 
" Deborah." 

The first regular newspaper published in Westerly appeared 
in the spring of 1851 with the title of The Literary Echo. It was 
issued weekly, under the editorial and business management of 
Mr. George H. Babcock, now president of the Babcock & Wilcox 
Safety Steam Power Company in New York, who was assisted 
and advised to some extent by his father, Mr. Asher M. Babcock. 
As indicated in its title, this paper combined literary selections 
and local reports, which was done in a way to give general satis- 
faction to the reading public. The Echo was continued seven 
years under the management, at different periods, of its original 
proprietors and of Messrs. Edwin G. Champlin and James H. Hoyt. 
In the spring of 1858, the issue of that paper having become irregu- 
lar, and the printing material somewhat run down, the establish- 
ment was sold by Mr. Hoyt in equal halves to the original pro- 
prietors and Mr. John Herbert Utter, a practical printer, who had 
been for several years employed in the of&ce of The Sabbath Re- 
corder in New York city. On the 26th day of April, 1858, The 
Narragansett Weekly was issued as the successor of the Echo, the 
title of the new firm being J. H. Utter & Co. One year later, the 
half interest of the original proprietors was purchased by Mr. 
George B. Utter, the machinery and facilities of the office were 
greatly increased, and the general business of printing and pub- 
lishing extended under the firm name of G. B. & J. H. Utter, in 
which name the business continued without interruption for 
nearly thirty years, until the death of Mr. J. H. Utter, in October, 
1887, when his interest in the concern was purchased by the sur- 
viving partner and passed over to Mr. George H. Utter (son of 
the survivor and nephew of the deceased), and the firm name be- 
came G. B. & G. H. Utter. In this connection it is proper to state 
that in the autumn of 1861, The Sabbath Recorder (the weekly 
organ of the Seventh-day Baptist denomination), which had been 
published in New York city eighteen years, mostly in charge of 
the senior member of the firm of G. B. & J. H. Utter, was removed 
from that city to Westerly, and its publication was continued 
there by the firm for eleven years, until 1872, when " the sub- 


scription list, patronage and favor " of that paper were sold to the 
American Sabbath Tract Society, and the location of the paper 
was changed from Westerly to Alfred Center, N. Y. 

George B. Utter, though not a native of Washington county, 
is so direct a descendant from one of its old families, and has 
been so intimately connected with its social, religious and busi- 
ness interests, and especially with its public press, that his por- 
trait and some account of his life and work may appropriately 
find a place in this volume. His paternal grandfather, Abram 
Utter, was a native and a lifelong resident of Hopkinton City, so 
called, in Washington county, and his father, William Utter, 
grew up in that " city," which he left on his twenty-first birthday 
to settle temporarily in New Hartford, Oneida county, N. Y. His 
maternal grandfather, Reuben Wilcox, was a native of Middle- 
town, Connecticut, which place he left when a young man to 
settle in Whitestown, Oneida county, N. Y.,and there his mother, 
Dolly Wilcox, was born, said to have been the first white child 
born in that then new township. In due time William Utter and 
Dolly Wilcox, residing in adjoining townships, were married, 
and soon afterward took up their permanent residence in a village 
some twenty miles south of Utica, known as Unadilla Forks, in 
Otsego county, and there the subject of this notice was born, 
February 4th, 1819. Being the seventh son, his parents, as was 
common in those days, early entertained the idea of having him 
educated for the medical profession, and with that in view sent 
him, at twelve years of age, to the then popular academy at 
Whitesboro, N. Y. But he, tiring of school, and desiring more 
active employment, was allowed, a year or two later, to com- 
mence learning the trade of a printer, which he did in the office 
of a weekly religious newspaper, published at Homer, Cortland 
county, N. Y., called Tlie Protestant Sentinel. Two years after he 
entered that office the location of the paper (and his own as well) 
was changed from Homer to Schenectady, N. Y., where for two 
years he was quite intimately associated with several of the 
younger students in Union College, and where he becarrie a mem- 
ber of the Apprentices' Library Association, read many of its 
books, and took an active part in its private debates and public 
meetings. Having determined in these years to pursue a course 
of classical study, he entered the Oneida Institute, at Whitesboro, 
N. Y., in the fall of 1836, from which he graduated, valedictorian 
of his class, in June, 1840. In the October following he entered 

• >>&* « '*. "- 


y(Lo./§ UtteTy^ 


the Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, from 
which he graduated in June, 1843. 

Three weeks before graduating from the seminary, he was 
ordained to the work of the gospel ministry at a meeting of the 
Seventh-day Baptist Eastern Association, held in Piscataway, N.J., 
and at the request and by the appointment of that body, he sailed 
soon afterward for England, with a view of establishing closer 
fraternal relations between the Seventh-day Baptist churches of 
this country and those of kindred faith in that country. As in- 
cidental to this primary object of his mission, he was also to study 
in the library of the British jMuseum, in London, and in the 
Bodleian Library, at Oxford, the history of the Sabbath discus- 
sion in that country, and to collect books on the subject as the 
nucleus of a Sabbath library in this country. After accom- 
plishing to a good degree the object sought, he returned to New 
York city in the spring of 1844, when he joined with others in 
establishing a religious newspaper, called Tlie Sabbath Recorder, 
which soon became the recognized organ of the vSeventh-day 
Baptist denomination. For more than twenty-five years he edited 
and published that paper, at the same time taking an oversight 
of the monthly and quarterly periodicals and the books and re- 
ports of various kinds published for circulation in and by that 

After the breaking out of the civil war, in 1861, Mr. Utter hav- 
ing become interested in a printing establishment in AYesterly, 
removed to that place the New York periodicals and continued 
them there in connection with the publication of a local and gen- 
eral newspaper called The Narragansett Weekly until, in 1872, he 
sold the "subscription list, patronage and favor," of The Sabbath 
Recorder to a denominational society wishing to make that paper 
the nucleus of a publishing establishment located near the uni- 
versity at Alfred Center, N. Y. Since that time Mr. Utter's atten- 
tion has been given to the editing of The Narragansett Weekly 
at Westerly, to the publication of matters in which he had a per- 
sonal interest, to official duties connected with various benevolent 
societies and to different business enterprises. In the year 1843 
he was associated with others in organizing the Seventh-day 
Baptist Missionary Society, and for most of the time since he has 
been a member of the board of managers of that society, having 
served as its recording secretary twelve consecutive years, from 
1847 to 1858, and as its treasurer for twenty-one consecutive years, 


from 1862 to 1883. To other benevolent societies of the denomi- 
nation -v^ith which he sympathized he has sustained relations 
similar in kind, though less intimate and exacting. He has also 
filled offices of trust and responsibility for the community in 
which he has resided, having been a member of the town council 
of Westerly for five years, from 1868 to 1873; a member of the board 
of assessors of the town for five years, 1876, 1877, 1878, 1882 and 
1883, and a trustee of School District No. 1 of Westerly for five 
consecutive years, from 1869 to 1874, including the period in 
which the Central building of the district on Elm street was 
erected, the graded system was introduced, and the debt incurred 
by the district in enlarging and improving its educational facili- 
ties was fimded. 

In February, 1884, the Rhode Island Telephone was moved from 
Wickford, R.I. , to Westerly, and the paper was thereafter known as 
The Westerly News and Rhode Island Telephone, until January 7th, 
1888. J. Warren Gardiner, during that time, was the editor and 
proprietor. Upon the latter mentioned date, Alva C. Lowrey as- 
sumed the charge thereof, changing the name of the publication to 
The Westerly Tribune. It continued to be issued as a weekly until 
September 6th, 1888, when the first number of The Westerly Daily 
Trihme appeared. Since that time a daily and weekly edition 
have been printed. The Daily Tribune has been well received 
and is rapidly becoming a prominent factor in the community. 
It has a large and growing circulation, and a good advertising 
patronage. It is independent in politics, but pronounced in its 
opinions upon all questions affecting the public interest. It was 
published by The Tribune Company, composed by Thomas H. 
Peabody and Alva C. Lowrey, until January 81st, 1889, when Mr. 
Peabody became sole proprietor. 

Thomas H. Peabody.— The grandparents of Mr. Peabody were 
Benjamin and Martha (Peckham) Peabody. His parents were 
Francis S. and Martha A. (Phillips) Peabody, of North Stoning- 
ton. Conn. Their son, Thomas H., was born September 28d, 
1839, in North Stonington, where he continued to reside until 
his twenty-first year, meanwhile pursuing his studies at the pub- 
lic schools, and in 1857 at the East Greenwich Academy. He 
was then for awhile engaged in teaching, and also accepted a 
clerkship, which he filled until his majority was attained. En- 

oro. 9/ srnOFrELD unOh- 



taring the office of Messrs, Thurston & Ripley, of Providence, as 
a student at law, he was, at the expiration of his third year of 
study, admitted in May, 1864, to the bar of Rhode Island, and 
subsequently to the bar of Connecticut and that of the United 
States courts. He spent twelve months in the West, and on his 
return in 1865, opened an office in Westerly, where he continued 
in successful practice until 1886. In the latter year, and during 
an embarrassed condition of the Stillman Manufacturing Com- 
pany, he was elected its treasurer. Thereupon he relinquished 
his profession to devote his attention exclusively to a settlement 
of the company's affairs. 

At the age of fourteen Mr. Peabody served an apprenticeship 
as a printer's devil, and by a singular co-incidence, resumed his 
connection with newspaper work many years later. Circum- 
stances, in 1888, made him the owner of The Westerly Tribitne, in 
connection with Alva C. Lowrey. Discerning the fact that en- 
ergy and enterprise might greatly increase the circulation and 
influence of this paper, they soon issued a daily edition, which 
has won, by its activity and independence, a strong hold on the 
public. To this paper Mr. Peabody, as senior editor, has, since 
August 1st, 1888, given the larger share of his time and attention. 
January 31st, 1889, he purchased the interest of Mr. Lowrey in 
the Tribune, thus becoming sole proprietor thereof. As a law- 
yer he took a leading rank at the bar of the county, and was 
interested in most of the important cases that came before the 
courts. Realizing the inconvenience to Westerly from the 
holding of the courts in a distant part of the county, Mr. Pea- 
body made a determined effort to change the old system. After 
much labor, covering a period of seven years, and great cost to 
himself, he was ultimately successful, in connection with Hon. 
George Carmichael, of Shannock, and others, in obtaining, April 
22d, 1881, an act of the legislature, by which four sessions of the 
supreme court and court of common pleas are annually held in 

In politics the subject of this sketch was formerly a republican, 
and now casts his vote independently of party ties. He repre- 
sented his town in the general assembly in the years 1878-79, 
declining a re-election. A candidate for the supreme court 
bench, he was not successful, but received a flattering vote, and 
the solid support of his section of the state. An avowed prohi- 
bitionist, he was nominated by that party for governor in the 
spring of 1887, running largely ahead of the balance of his ticket, 


and for congress the following fall. He has also held many local 
offices and been foremost in the advocacy of measures tending 
to the improvement and growth of the town. He is one of the 
board of directors of the AVesterly Water Works. 

Mr. Peabody was, on the 8th of September, 1874, married to 
Lucy E., daughter of Ira G. Briggs, of Griswold, Conn. Both 
Mr. and Mrs. Peabody are members of the First Baptist church 
of Westerly. 

On the 20th of February, 1886, Mr. E. Anson Stillman issued a 
semi-monthly sheet, mainly for advertising purposes, under the 
title of Stillman s Idea, of which fifty-four numbers were printed, 
when it was discontinued. 

On the 19th of June, 1888, the first number appeared of a 
weekly newspaper called The Westerly Journal, of which Mr. 
Frank H. Campbell was the editor and proprietor. 

In the summer of 1888 twenty-six numbers were issued by Mr. 
George G. Champlin of a semi-weekly paper, under the title of 
The Surf, having in view mainly the reporting and advertising 
of matters of special interest to visitors at the various watering 
places in the vicinity of Westerly. 

The Wood Rive?- Advertiser yfa.s'printQdi in t\lQ^fil\^ige of Hope 
Valley, by L. W. A. Cole. November 1st, 1866, a new era was 
commenced in the history of this village by the introduction of 
a new press into the town by Mr. Cole, and thereafter work of 
this kind has not been done elsewhere. January 6th, 1879, Mr. 
Cole so prospered in business that he was induced to publish a 
local paper, which has since kept growth with the place, and 
has now, under the management and able pen of H. N. Phillips, 
become a recognized power for good in the village and town. 
Under Mr. Phillips' ownership the name of the paper has been 
changed to the Sentinel- Advertiser, and increased in size to a folio 
of seven columns. 

The Wiekford Standard is the youngest paper in Rhode Island. 
It was established in the summer of 1888, by Claude Gardiner, 
publisher, under the editorial charge and management of James 
H. Coggeshall. It is a folio of five columns, printed with new 
type, on good paper, and is meeting the expectations of the peo- 
ple of North Kingstown very satisfactorily. It is well gotten up 
and well arranged, and has become so firmly established as a 
first-class local family newspaper, that there is no doubt that its 
life in the village of Wiekford will be a long and prosperous one. 



Revolutionary Period.— Original Causes of the War. — Destruction of the British 
Vessels "Liberty" and " Gaspee."— Forces Raised by the Various Towns.— 
Reminiscences of the Sanguinary Conflict.— Kentish Guards.— The Capture 
of Major-General Prescott. — Colonel Christopher Greene.— Major-General 
Nathaniel Greene.— The Dorr Rebellion.— The Civil War. 

THE uninterrupted quiet and prosperity the two counties of 
Washington and Kent had enjoyed was now to give place 
to the turmoil which necessarily precedes war. New in- 
dustries gave way to a languid business, and instead of the people 
being able to follow the avocations incident to peaceful and pros- 
perous times, the depths of society were stirred by the adverse 
winds of political opinion. 

Though the plan for a federal union of the colonies at Albany 
in 1754 failed of adoption, yet the novel idea was made apparent 
a few years subsequently, and eventually culminated in the act 
that rendered the fourth of Jul}?, 1776, a day memorable in the 
annals of the world. 

In, 1764 the celebrated stamp act was passed, lev3dng a duty on 
all paper used f^r instruments of writing, etc., and declaring all 
such writings on unstamped material to be null and void. A duty 
•on glass, leads, paints and paper, and an import duty of three 
pence a pound on tea, were proposed. 

On the arrival of the news of the stamp act, the people were 
much excited. In July, 1769, " the British armed sloop ' Liberty,' 
Captain William Reid, cruising in Long Island sound and Narra- 
gansett bay in search of contraband traders, had needlessly an- 
noyed all the coasting craft that came in her way. Two Connec- 
ticut vessels, a brig and a sloop, were brought into Newport on 
.suspicion of smuggling. An altercation ensued between the cap- 
tain of the brig and some of the ' Liberty's ' crew, in which the 
former was maltreated and his boat fired upon from the vessel. 
The same evening the people obliged Reid, while on the wharf. 


to order all his men, except the first officer, to come on shore and 
answer for their conduct. A party then boarded the ' Liberty,' 
sent the officers on shore, cut the cable and grounded the sloop at 
the Point. There they cut away the mast and scuttled the ves- 
sel, and then carried her boats to the upper end of the town and 
burnt them. This was the first overt act of violence offered to 
the British authorities in this state. The two prizes escaped. 
This was followed by various acts of resistance of minor import- 
ance, all of which tended to the same result that eventually tran- 

For several years previous to the actual outbreak of the war 
much trouble had been occasioned by an illicit trade carried on 
by vessels along the coast, which induced the commissioners of 
customs to place armed vessels to guard the coast. 

It was soon after this that the destruction of the " Gaspee " 
took place on the Warwick coast, and the first Tory blood shed 
in connection with the revolutionary war. The details of this 
affair are best given in a statement made in 1839 by Colonel 
Ephraim Bowen, who was concerned in the affair and was prob- 
ably the last survivor of the little band : " In the year 1772, the 
British government had stationed at Newport, Rhode Island, a 
sloop of war, with her tender, the schooner called the ' Gaspee,' 
of eight guns, commanded by William Duddingston, a lieutenant 
in the British navy, for the purpose of preventing the clandestine 
landing of articles subject to the payment of duty. The captain 
of this schooner made it his practice to stop and board all vessels 
entering or leaving the ports of Rhode Island, or leaving New- 
port for Providence. On the 10th day of June, 1772, Captain 
Thomas Lindsey left Newport, in his packet, for Providence, 
about noon, with the wind at north ; and soon after the ' Gaspee "" 
was under sail in pursuit of Lindsey, and continued the chase as 
far as Namcut Point, which runs off from the farm in Warwick, 
about seven miles below Providence, and is now owned by Mr. 
John B. Francis, our late governor. Lindsey was standing east- 
erly, with the tide on ebb, about two hours, when he hove about 
at the end of Namcut Point, and stood to the westward and Dud- 
dingston, in close chase, changed his course and ran on the Point 
near its end and grounded. Lindsey continued on his course up 
the river and arrived at Providence about sunset, when he im- 
mediately informed Mr. John Brown, one of our first and most 
respectable merchants, of the situation of the 'Gaspee.' He im- 


mediately concluded that she would remain immovable till after- 
midnight, and that now an opportunity offered of putting- an end 
to the trouble and vexation she daily caused. Mr. Brown imme- 
diately resolved on her destruction, and he forthwith directed one. 
of his trusty shipmasters to collect eight of the largest long boats, 
in the harbor, with five oars each, to have the oars and oar locks, 
muffled to prevent noise, and to place them at Fenner's wharf,, 
directly opposite the dwelling of Mr. James Sabin, who kept ai 
house of board and entertainment for gentlemen, being the same^ 
house purchased a few years later by Welcome Arnold, one of 
our enterprising merchants, and is now owned by and is the res- 
idence of Colonel Richard J. Arnold, his son. 

" About the time of the shutting of the shops, soon after sun- 
set, a man passed along the Main street, beating a drum, and in- 
formed the inhabitants of the fact that the ' Gaspee ' was aground 
on Namcut Point, and would not float off until three o'clock the 
next morning, and inviti'ng those persons who felt a disposition 
to go and destroy that troublesome vessel, to repair in the even- 
ing to Mr. James Sabin's house. About 9 o'clock I took my 
father's gun and my. powder horn and bullets and went to Mr.. 
Sabin's house, and found the southeast room full of people, when, 
I loaded my gun, and all remained there till about 10 o'clock, 
some casting bullets in the kitchen and others making arrange-- 
ments for departure ; when orders were given to cross the street, 
to Fenner's wharf and embark, which soon took place, and a sea- 
captain acted as steersman of each boat, of whom I recollect .Cap- 
tain Abraham Whipple, Captain John B. Hopkins (with whom I 
embarked), and Captain Benjamin Dunn. A line from right to> 
left was soon formed, with Captain Whipple on the right, and 
Captain Hopkins on the right of the left wing. The party thus 
proceeded till within about sixty yards of the ' Gaspee,' when a 
sentinel hailed, ' Who comes there ? ' No answer. He hailed 
again and no answer. In about a minute Duddingston mounted*, 
the starboard gunwale in his shirt and hailed, ' Who comes there ? ' 
No answer. He hailed again, when Captain Whipple answered 
as follows : ' I am the sheriff of the county of Kent * * * ; I 
have got a warrant to apprehend you '"' * * ; so surrender 
■* * * .'I took my seat on the main thwart near the larboard 
row-lock, with my gun by my right side and facing forwards. As. 
soon as Duddingston began to hail, Joseph Bucklin, who was 
standing on the main thwart, said to me, ' Eph, reach me your 


gun, I can kill that fellow?' I reached it to him accordingly, 
when, during Captain Whipple's replying, Bucklin fired and Dud- 
dingston fell, and Bucklin exclaimed : ' I have killed the rascal ! ' 
In less than a minute after Captain Whipple's answer, the boats 
were alongside of the ' Gaspee,' and she was boarded without op- 
position. The men on deck retreated below, as Duddingston en- 
tered the cabin. As it was discovered that he was wounded, 
John Mawney, who had for two or three years been studying 
physic and surgery, was ordered to go into the cabin and dress 
Duddington's wound and I was directed to assist him. On exam- 
ination it was found that the ball took effect about five inches 
directly below the navel. Duddingston called for Mr. Dickinson 
to produce bandages and other necessaries, for dressing the 
wound, and when finished, orders were given to the schooners 
company to collect their clothing and everything that belonged 
to them, and put them into the boats, as all of them were to be 
sent ashore.. All were soon collected and put on board the boats, 
including one of our boats. They departed and landed Dudding- 
ston at the old still-house wharf at Pawtuxet, and put the chief 
into the house of Joseph Rhodes. Soon after all the party were 
ordered to depart, leaving one boat for the leaders of the expedi- 
tion, who soon set the vessel on fire, which consumed her to the 
water's edge. 

" The names of the most conspicuous of the party are, Mr. 
John Brown, Captain Abraham Whipple, John B. Hopkins, Ben- 
jamin Dunn, and five others whose names I have forgotten, and 
John Mawney, Benjamin Page, Joseph Bucklin and Turpin Smith, 
my youthful companions, all of whom are dead, I believe every 
man of the party excepting myself ; and my age is eighty-six, 
this twenty-ninth day of August, eighteen hundred and thirty- 

It is difficult at this late day to obtain full and accurate accounts 
of the military forces furnished for the war in any particular 
portion of the state. The forces were necessarily blended with 
the army of the country. It is certain, however, that the heart 
of this region throbbed strongly and warmly in the patriotic 

The enemy captured Block Island, and also the island of Rhode 
Island, which they held till 1779. Marauding and plundering 
expeditions were frequent along the shores, and the two counties 
in particular were thoroughly aroused to action. 


Of the militia, in 1776, Joshua Babcock, of Westerly, was ma- 
jor general; Joseph Noyes, colonel ; Jesse Champlain, lieutenant 
colonel ; Jesse Maxson, major. Of the three regiments compris- 
ing the Rhode Island Brigade the one for Kent and Kings coun- 
ties was placed under the command of Colonel James Varnum, 
with Christopher Greene as major. 

By taking the muster roll of military companies with their of- 
ficers at different times we may form some accurate idea of the 
forces sent from these two counties. In 1777 Captain Samuel 
Champlain commanded the guard stationed on the seashore as a 
defense against the British barges. Colonel John Waterman, of 
Warwick, in January, 1777, commanded the regiment which drove 
the British from the island of Prudence, at the time Wallace 
landed and burnt the houses upon the island. 

Muster and size roll of recruits enlisted for the town of War- 
wick for the campaign of 1782 : Henry Straight, Rhodes Tucker, 
Daniel Hudson, George Westcott, George Parker, Caleb Mathews, 
Nathaniel Peirce, Benjamin Howard, Benjamin Utter, Stephen 
Davis, Anthony Church, Abel Bennet, James Brown. 

Officers of the Pawtuxet Rangers for 1776 were : Benjamin Ar- 
nold, captain ; Oliver Arnold, first lieutenant ; Sylvester Rhodes, 
second lieutenant, and James Sheldon, ensign. 

Officers of the Kentish Guards for 1776 were : Richard Frye, 
captain ; Hopkins Cooke, first lieutenant ; Thomas Holden, 
second lieutenant, and Sylvester Greene, ensign. 

Field officers of the state for Kent county for the year 1780 : 
Thomas Holden, colonel of the First Regiment of militia ; Thomas 
Tillinghast, lieutenant colonel ; Job Peirce, major. Archibald 
Kasson, colonel vSecond Regiment of militia; Thomas Gorton, 
lieutenant colonel ; Isaac Johnson, major. 

Officers to command the several trained bands or companies of 
militia within the state : For Warzvick. — First Company. — Job 
Randall, captain ; James Arnold, lieutenant ; James Carder, en- 
sign. Second Company. — Squire Miller, captain ; James Jerauld, 
lieutenant; John Stafford, ensign. Third Company. — Thomas 
Rice, son of Thomas Rice, captain ; Anthony Holden, lieuten- 
ant ; Stukely Stafford, ensign. 

In 1777 the Artillery Company of Westerly, Hopkinton and 
Charlestown counted "Augustus Stanton, captain; Thomas Noyes, 
first lieutenant ; William Gardner, second lieutenant ; Charles 
Crandall, ensign." 


JVcster/j, besides being represented in the coast guard and ar- 
tillery, had three militia companies, officered as follows : " First 
Company : John Pendleton, captain ; Ephraim Pendleton, lieu- 
.tenant ; Simeon Pendleton, ensign. Second Company : John 
'Gavitt, captain; Stephen Saunders, lieutenant ; William Bliven, 
■ensign. Third Company: George Stillman, captain; Peleg 
.Saunders, lieutenant ; Asa Maxson, ensign." 

In CharUstoivn.—" First Company : John Parks, captain ; Gid- 
•eonHoxie, Jr., lieutenant; Christopher Babcock, ensign. Second 
Company : Amos Greene, captain ; Beriah Lewis, lieutenant ; 
Daniel Stafford, ensign." 

In Richmond.— ''W\xsX Company : Richard Bailey, Jr., captain ; 
John Woodmansie, lieutenant ; Joshua Webb, ensign. Second 
■Company : John Clarke, captain ; Jeremiah Tefft, lieutenant ; 
Pardon Tefft, ensign." 

In Hopkiiiton. — " First Company : Henry Welles, captain ; Syl- 
vanus Maxson, lieutenant ; Thomas Welles, Jr., ensign. Second 
Company: George Thurston, Jr., captain; Randall Welles, 
lieutenant ; Joseph Thurston, ensign. Third Company : Jesse 
Burdick, captain ; Uriah Crandall, lieutenant ; Lebbeus Cottrell, 

In the "Alarm Company" of Hopkinton, for 1779 we find, 
"Thomas Wells, 2d, captain ; Elias Coon, first lieutenant; John 
Pierce, second lieutenant ; John Brown, ensign." 

For the " Alarm Company " of Westerly, in the same year, we 
find, " Joseph Maxson, first lieutenant ; Peleg Barber, second 
lieutenant ; Silas Greenman, ensign." And of field officers in 
this region we find, " Joseph Stanton, Jr., colonel ; Jesse Maxson, 
Esq., lieutenant-colonel ; Joseph Pendleton, Esq., Jonathan Max- 
;son, Esq., majors." 

In 1781 Westerly enrolled " four companies of militia," besides 
her quota in the continental battalions ; the whole must have 
.absorbed one fifth of her population, for in 1777 the town num- 
bered 1,812 inhabitants. In Hopkinton, in one district, there was 
scarcely a man, save the aged fathers, remaining to assist these 

In Westerly various committees were appointed to look after 
unpatriotic people engaged in speculating and raising prices, 
•contrary to the act provided. 

Nathan Babcock was appointed to secure materials for an am- 
:inunition cart. 


Captain Joseph Pendleton was a recruiting officer, January 
:30th, 1778, to collect the stockings that "are still deficient to 
serve the soldiers." 

Colonel James Back, June 3d, 1777, was chosen captain of the 
Train Artillery; Peleg Pendleton, lieutenant of said train. 

July 7th, 1780, the town voted " Three Gallons of Rum to treat 
the soldiers enlisted and to encourage those that had a mind to 

March 8th, 1782, the town voted a " Bounty of Thirty Silver 
Dollars to each soldier enlisting to fill the Town's quota." 

Not only did the brave-hearted women of that day turn their 
earnest hands to the distaff, loom and needle, but they rose up to 
■■do all home duties. They conducted the dairy ; they managed 
horses, cattle and flocks ; they even grasped the plow and the 
; sickle. During one season, as nearly all the men were absent, 
watching the coast, besieging the enemy at Newport, marching 
to distant fields of action, the women organized themselves into 
a band to gather in the harvests. They would complete the work 

■ of one farm and then pass on to another. 

Watch Hill was the point of lookout. This promontory was so 
named from a "watch tower" and " signal station " built there, 

■ on Bear hill, during the old French war. The old signal was fire 
. and smoke — smoke by day and fire by night. This watch tower 

was renewed in the revolution by " the guard " of the coast, look- 
ing out for British ships and barges. Napatree Point (Naps and 
Tree Point) was then covered with thick woods, and offered an 
• opportunity for the enemy to land and conceal a force. Indeed, 
it is reported that the neck of land leading to the Naps was so 
.broad that it contained a swamp and pond that served as a haunt 
ifor foxes. The roots of the ancient trees, now far from the shore, 
.are frequently torn up by the waves in heavy gales. This is also 
true of the shore on the east side of Watch Hill. 

During the war of the revolution two English ships of the line, 

■ on their way westward, were overtaken by a northeast gale, and, 
running in toward the land, came to anchor near Watch Hill, and 
there hoped to outride the storm. They were the " Cayenne " 

.and " Colodon." The " Cayenne," the smaller of the two, by cut- 
;ting away her masts held her ground. The " Colodon " rode so 
heavily that she burned and broke her hawser, and then drove 
before the gale, blinded by the snow, and struck on Shagwang 
reef, and was dashed on the east point of Fort Pond bay, Long 


Island. That point is now known as Colodon point. The huge 
anchor of this man-of-war was secured by Mr. Hezekiah Wilcox 
and his sons. 

The Patriots of Hopkinton, R. /., i7'/'^.— " Hopkinton, Sept. 19, 
A. D., 1776. I, the subscriber, do solemnly and sincerely declare 
that I believe the War, Resistance and Opposition in which the 
United American Colonies are Engaged against the Fleets and 
Armies of Great Britain, is on the part of the said Colonies Just 
and necessary ; and that I will not directly or indirectly afford 
assistance of any sort or kind whatever to the said Fleets and 
Armies during the continuance of the present war, but that I 
will heartily assist in the defence of the United Colonies. 

" Daniel Coon, Joshua Clarke, John Larkin, Amos Maxson, 
John Coon, Thomas West, George Thurston, Edward Wells, 
Francis West, Zacheus Reynolds, Jr., William Thurston, Samuel 
Hill, Benjamin Randall, Benjamin Maxson, John Maxson, Robert 
Burdick, Mathew Randall, David Coon, William Witter, Samuel 
Reynolds, Jesse Maxson, Samuel Champlin, Phineas Maxson, 
Hezekiah Babcock, William Coon, Jr., Elisha Stillman, Caleb 
Potter, Elisha Coon, Joseph Maxson, Nathaniel Kenyon, Ben- 
jamin Colegrove, Stephen Potter, Joshua Coon, Ebenezer Hill, 
Thomas Wells, Abel Tanner, John Robinson, Jun., Lawton Pal- 
mer, Thomas Potter Gardiner, Eleazer Lewis, John Marshall, 
Benjamin Kenyon, William Tanner, Jr., Joseph Witter, Jr., 
Peter Kenyon, Mathew Maxson, Jonathan Coon, Stephen 
Maxson, William Coon, William Greene, William Bassett, 
William Tanner, Thompson Wells, Sylvanus Maxson, James 
Wells, Jun., Clarke Maxson, Caleb Church, Elnathan Wells, 
Zellenius Burdick, Josiah Witter, Nathan Burdick, Peter Ken- 
yon, Jr., John Cottrell, Hubbard Burdick, Francis Tanner, 
Moses Barber, Paul Burdick, Nathan Tanner, Parker Burdick, 
Moses Hall, Jacob Hall, Joseph Witter, Rufus Burdick, Abel Bur- 
dick, Daniel Peckham, Jr., Jonathan Wells, Jr., William Burdick, 
Jr., Asa Eaglestone, Jonathan West, John Brown, Elnathan Bur- 
dick, Amos Palmer, Jun., Nathan Palmiter, Uriah Saunders, 
Elisha Wells, Nathaniel Burdick, Peleg Maxson, Stephen R. 
Burdick, Bryant Cartwright, Jesse Burdick, Waite Burdick, Josiah 
Collins, John Vellett, Joseph Thurston, William Papple, Henry 
Clarke, William Needham, Francis Robinson, Samuel Button, 
Jr., Samuel Lewis, Barker Wells, Peter Wells, John Millard, 
Amos Langworthy, James Braman, Hezekiah Carpenter, John 


Palmer, David Davis, Daniel Peckham, Jr., Ross Coon, Stephen 
Crandall, Oliver Davis, Simeon Babcock, Samuel Longworthy, 
Zebbius Sweet, Timothy Larkm, John Hall, Jr., Amos Button, 
Bryant Cartwright, Jr., Rouse Babeock, Asa Miner, Clarke Rey- 
nolds, John Braman, Samuel Witter, Samuel Babcock, Isaiah 
Maxson, Henry Foster, William White, James Kinyon, John 
Maxson, Jr., Jonathan Rogers, Joseph Barber, John Randall, 
John Satterly, Ichabod Paddock, Jeffrey Champlin, James Fry, 
Cyrus Button, Thomas Cottrell, Fones Palmer, Benjamin Rath- 
bun, Josiah Hill, Phineas Edwards, Thomas Wells, Jr., Billings 
Burch, John Brown, Henry Wells, Joseph Cole, Jr., Amos Coon, 
Hezekiah Babcock, Sr., Israel Stiles, Thomas Barber, Peleg Bar- 
ber, David Davis, Jr., Elias Coon, Gideon AUin, Josias Lillibridge, 
Joshua Wells, Jr., Joseph Crandall, Elijah Crandall, Joseph Long- 

" The aforegoing is a true account of those that subscribed the 
Test in the town of Hopkinton. 

" Abel Tanner, Town Clerk." 

Incidents of the Revolution. — The revolution, was the 
vindication of principles. The people of Westerly rose up to 
maintain their inalienable rights, and in resisting the tyranny 
of their oppressors suffered grievously. In that historic scene 
Westerly nobly avowed her sentiments, and her military honors 
were worthily won. Among those most prominent in that con- 
test was Governor Samuel Ward, son of Governor Edward Ward, 
of Newport. He was born in Newport, May 37th, 1725 ; gradu- 
ated at Harvard College in 1 743 ; married Anna Ray, of Block 
Island, at the age of twenty, and removed to Westerly. He was 
chosen governor three times — in 1762, in 1765 and in 1766. 

From the skillful pen of Frederick Denison, in " Westerly and 
Its Witnesses," we extract the following : 

"The tide of party politics ran high in the colony on account 
of the popularity of the two leaders. Ward and Hopkins. It was 
also the exciting period of the stamp act, the beginning of irre- 
concilable differences with the mother country. Governor Sam- 
uel Ward acted a cool, noble part in resisting the aggressions of 
England. The papers that emanated from his pen are among 
our cherished records. At the opening of the revolution, in 
1774, he was chosen by the colony as colleague of Stephen Hop- 
kins, to represent Rhode Island in the first continental congress 
at Philadelphia. To this office he was reappointed in 1775, and 


while in the laborious discharge of his duty died in Philadelphia, 
March 25th, 1776, deeply mourned by congress as by his native 
colony. At the time of his death, Governor Ward was attended 
by his faithful body servant and slave, Cudjo, who, in returning 
to Westerly, brought on safely his master's papers and personal 
effects. Cudjo's wife, also a slave, was named Pegg Ward. From 
an old family paper, executed in reference to Cudjo's support by 
Governor Ward's heirs, we find that this faithful servant was 
living as late as 1806, and was under the care and protection of 
Oliver Wilcox. 

" Samuel Ward, 2d (son of Governor Samuel Ward), born in 
Westerly, November 17th, 1756 ; graduated at Brown University 
in 1771 ; joined the Rhode Island army of observation, and rose 
to a captaincy in 1775. He joined the forces besieging Boston. 
In September of the same year, at the head of a company, he 
connected himself with the daring and perilous expedition, un- 
der General Arnold, that marched against Quebec. In a letter, 
under date of November 26th, 1775, when near the city, he says: 
' We have gone up one of the most rapid rivers in the world, 
where the water was so shoal that, moderately speaking, we have 
waded 100 miles. We were thirty days in a wilderness that none 
but savages ever attempted to pass. We marched 100 miles upon 
short three days' provisions, waded over three rapid rivers, 
marched through snow and ice barefoot, passed over the St. Law- 
rence when it was guarded by the enemy's frigates, and are now 
about twenty -four miles from the city, to recruit our worn out 
natures.' In the attack on the city, Captain Ward, with most 
of his company, penetrated the first barrier, but was finally 

" He was exchanged in 1776, and on the 1st of January, 1777, 
was commissioned as major under Colonel C. Greene. He co- 
operated in the gallant defense of the fort at Red B^nk, and in 
the same year was aid-de-camp to General Washington. In 1778 
he acted in defense of Rhode Island, under Generals Greene, 
Lafayette and Sullivan. Here he once commanded a regiment, 
and was commissioned lieutenant-colonel, to take rank from May 
1st, 1778. After this he was in Washington's army in New Jer- 
sey, ' in the toil and glory of that service.' He was present at 
the defense of the bridge at Springfield, by a part of the Rhode 
Island line, against the Hessian general, Knyphausen, in June, 


" At the close of the war he turned to the pursuits of peace, 
and became a distinguished merchant, going abroad for a few 
years, and finally settling in New York. For a time, after ac- 
quiring a competence, he owned a farm and lived at East Green- 
wich, but at last went to Jamaica, L. I., where, near his children, 
and in the midst of honors, he spent the remainder of his days. 
His death occurred in New York, August 16th, 1832, in his sev- 
enty-sixth year. 

" His wife, Phebe (Greene) Ward, born March 11th, 1760, died 
in October, 1828. Colonel Ward left a gifted family. 

" Worthy of conspicuous and enduring record are the noble 
sentiments expressed by the freemen of Westerly in the begin- 
ning of 1774, at a meeting which ' was the largest ever held in 
the town, and not a dissenting vote.' We quote from the 
records : — 

" ' At a town meeting specially called, and held at the dwelling- 
house of Major Edward Bliven, in Westerly, in the County of 
Kings, February 2d, A. D. 1774. 

" ' The Honorable Samuel Ward, Esq., chosen Moderator. 

" ' The Moderator and several other gentlemen laid before the 
meeting the vast importance of civil and religious liberty to so- 
ciety, and then stated the natural and constitutional rights and 
privileges of the Colonists, and the many infringements of those 
rights by several acts of Parliament for raising a revenue in 
America, and other constitutional purposes : upon which the 
Moderator and Joshua Babcock, Esq., Mr. James Rhodes, Col. 
Wm. Pendleton, Mr. Geo. Sheffield, Oliver Crary, Esq., and Capt. 
Benj. Parke were appointed a committee to take the important 
subjects before the meeting into their consideration, and report 
as soon as may be, what measures will be proper for the town to 
take in the present alarming situation of the Colonies. The 
meeting was adjourned for a few hours, and the freemen being 
again assembled, the committee reported the following resolves, 
all of which were unanimously received and voted : — 

" ' 1st, Resolved, That our ancestors, being oppressed in their 
native country, and denied the liberty of worshiping God ac- 
cording to the dictates of their consciences, had a natural and 
just right to emigrate from Britain to this or any other part of 
the world. 

"'2d. That upon their arrival in America, they found the 
country in the actual possession of the Indian natives, who had 


the sole and absolute jurisdiction of the same, and a perfect 
and exclusive right and property in the soil and in its produce of 
every kind. 

" ' 3d. That they purchased the soil, and with it the jurisdiction 
of the country, of the Sachems, the then sole lords and proprie- 
tors thereof, and accordingly became possessed of an exclusive, 
natural and just right and property in the same, with a right to 
improve or dispose of the same and its various produce, in any 
manner which they chose, and might have incorporated them- 
selves into distinct or separate societies or governments, with- 
out any connection with any European power whatsoever. 

" ' 4th. That their attachment to their native country and its 
excellent Constitution made them forget their former sufferings, 
and hope for better times, and put themselves and the vast terri- 
tory which they had acquired under the allegiance of the Crown 
of England, upon express conditions that all their natural, civil, 
and religious rights and privileges should be secured to them and 
their heirs forever. This security was solemnly granted and con- 
firmed accordingly in their respective charters, with all the ' lib- 
erties and immunities of free and natural subjects within any of 
the dominions of the then King of England, &c., his heirs or suc- 
cessors, to all intents, constructions, and purposes whatsoever, as 
if they or every one of them had been born within the realm of 
England, and these privileges have been since confirmed by sev- 
eral acts of Parliament. 

" ' Sth. That the charter of this Colony doth in the strongest 
manner possible, grant unto the inhabitants thereof, all those 
rights and privileges, with complete jurisdiction within the terri- 
tory they had purchased, and an entire exemption from all ' serv- 
ices, duties, fines, forfeitures, claims and demands whatsoever, 
except the fifth part of all ore of gold and silver found in the 
Colony, which is reserved in lieu of all other duties.' 

" ' 6th. That the act of the British Parliament, claiming a right 
to make laws binding upon the colonies in all cases whatsoever, 
is inconsistent with the natural, constitutional, and charter rights 
and privileges of the inhabitants of this Colony. 

" ' 7th. That the acts of Parliament forbidding us to transport 
our wool by water from one town to another, or prohibiting the 
working up the iron or other raw materials which the country 
affords, are arbitrary, oppressive, and inconsistent with our nat- 
ural and charter rights. 


" ' 8th. That all acts of Parliament for raising a revenue in 
America are a notorioiis violation of the liberties and immunities 
granted by charter to the inhabitants of this Colony, and have a 
tendency to deprive them of the liberties, which, as freemen, they 
have a right to, by Magna Charta and the Bill of Rights, and also 
to deprive them of the fruits of their own labor and the produce 
of their own lands ; and make the present colonists and all their 
property, slaves to the people, or rather to the ministry of Great 

" ' 9th. That the granting of salaries to the Governors and 
Judges of the colonies; the enlarging the jurisdiction of the 
Court of Admiralty ; the appointment of the Board of Commis- 
sioners ; the increase of the Custom House officers ; the arbitrary 
power given to those officers to break into any man's house (ever 
considered by law as a sacred retirement from all force and vio- 
lence till now), and to forcibly enter his bed-chamber, break open 
his desk and trunks, and offer all kinds of insults to his family ; 
the introducing fleets and armies to supply those officers and en- 
force a submission to every act of oppression, are inconsistent 
with every idea of liberty, and will certainly, if not immediately 
checked, establish arbitrary power and slavery in America, with 
all their fatal consequences. 

'■■ ' 10th. That the act of Parliament entitled an ' Act for the bet- 
ter preserving His Majesty's Dock-yards,' &c., is a flagrant viola- 
tion of all our natural and constitutional rights ; for by this act 
any man in America may be seized and carried to any part of 
Britain, there to be tried upon a pretense of his being concerned 
in burning a boat, vessel, or any materials for building, or any 
naval stores, &c., and being deprived of a trial by his peers in the 
vicinage, and subjected to a foreign jurisdiction, under the direc- 
tion of those who neither know nor regard him ; tho' innocent, 
he is sure to be entirely ruined. 

" ' 11th. That the act allowing the East India Company to ex- 
port tea to America, subject to a duty payable here, and the ac- 
tual sending the tea into the colonies by the Company, are mani- 
fest attempts to enforce the revenue acts, and undoubtedly de- 
signed to make a precedent for establishing the taxes and monop- 
olies in America, in order that a general tax upon all the neces- 
saries of life, and all our lands, may take place ; and monopolies 
of all valuable branches of commerce may be established in this 
country. We will, therefore, neither buy, sell, nor receive as a 


gift, any dutied tea, but shall consider all persons concerned in 
introducing dutied tea into this Town as enemies to their 

" ' 12th. That it is the duty of every man in America who loves 
God, his King, or his country, to oppose by all proper measures, 
every attempt upon the liberties of his country, and particularly 
the importation of tea subject to a duty, and to exert himself to 
the utmost to obtain a redress of the grievances the colonies now 
groan under. 

" ' 13th. That the inhabitants of this Town ever have been, and 
now are, loyal and dutiful subjects to their Sovereign ; that they 
have a most affectionate regard for their brethren in Britain and 
Ireland ; that in all the wars in America, they have, when the 
Government has been constitutionally applied to by the Crown, 
granted all the aid in their power, and frequently more than was 
expected ; that they are still ready, when called upon in a consti- 
tutional way, to grant such aid and assistance to the crown as the 
necessity of the case may require, and their ability will admit ; 
but though we are ready to sacrifice our lives and fortunes for the 
true honor and interest of our sovereign and the good of our 
mother country, we cannot give up our liberties to any person 
upon earth ; they are dearer to us than our lives. We do, there- 
fore, solemnly resolve and determine, that we will heartily unite 
with the other towns in this and all our sister colonies, and exert 
our whole force and influence in support of the just rights and 
privileges of the American colonies. 

" ' 14th. That the Moderator and Joshua Babcock, Esq., Mr. 
James Rhodes, Mr. George Sheffield, Major James Babcock, or 
the major part of them, be a committee for this town to corre- 
spond with all other committees appointed by any town in this 
or the other colonies ; and the committee is directed to give the 
closest attention to everything which concerns the liberties of 
America ; and if any tea subject to a duty should be imported into. 
town, or anything else attempted injurious to liberty, the com- 
mittee is directed and empowered to call a town meeting forth- 
with, that such measures may be taken as the public safety may 

" ' 15th. We highly applaud, and sincerely thank our brethren 
in the several sister colonies of America, particularly in Boston,. 
Virginia and Philadelphia, for their noble and virtuous stand in 
defense of the common liberties of America ; and we return our 


thanks to the town of Newport for their patriotic resolutions to 
maintain the liberties of their country, and the prudent measures 
they have taken to have the other towns in the colony to come 
into the same generous resolution. 

" ' Voted. That the proceedings of this town meeting be pub- 
lished in the Newport Mercury.' 

"It is sufficiently evident that the above patriotic paper was 
penned by Governor Samuel Ward ; he, however, wrote for the 
hearts of his fellow-townsmen. The people cherished no disloy- 
alty to law and legitimate government, but simply the opposition 
of principle to manifest usurpation and oppression. Nobly had 
they defended the Crown in the French and Indian wars." 

David Sherman Baker, in his historical sketch of North Kings- 
town, thus portrays to his readers the scenes and events incident 
to the revolutionary period in that town : " North Kingstown 
early caught the spirit of independence and was ardent in the 
cause of liberty. Already she had extended her sympathy in the 
substantial form of money and cattle to the citizens of Boston, 
who were suffering from the aggressions of the British soldiery, 
and February 16th, 1775, more than a month before the battle of 
Lexington, the people of the town, now organized for action, 
called for one hundred and forty guns. These were promptly 
furnished, and in the following month the committee appointed 
by the general assembly apportioned to the town its share of 
powder, lead and flints. In June of the same year Charles Til- 
linghast and two others were appointed enlisting officers for the 
town. From this time companies were formed and enlistments 
continued to be made ; and during the whole war North Kings- 
town's sons fought in many battles on sea and land. When in 
1777 General Washington ordered the continental troops in 
Rhode Island to join the army in the Jerseys, it left the state in 
an almost defenseless condition. North Kingstown, whose geo- 
graphical position rendered attacks from the bay an easy matter, 
was especially open to the incursions of the enemy. It was at 
this time that George Waite Babcock, Joseph Taylor, John Slo- 
cum and Christopher Pearce, having the welfare of their country 
at heart and willing to defend it with their lives, believing that 
the enemy were about to make an attack, raised a company ' to 
guard the town of Updike's Newtown,' and petitioning the as- 
sembly to grant a charter. ' Whereupon it was voted and resolved 
that the petitioners, with such others as shall enlist with them. 


not exceeding sixty-four men, exclusive of commissioned officers, 
be incorporated into a separate and distinct military company by 
the name of the ' Newtown Rangers, to be commanded by one 
captain, two lieutenants and one ensign.' By an act of the legis- 
lature slaves were allowed to enlist. Soon afterward a large 
company composed wholly of negroes (many of whom had been 
slaves) and officered by white men, was raised in the town, and 
Thomas Cole and Benjamin Peckham were chosen captain and 

" During the whole war North Kingstown was frequently an- 
noyed by predatory incursions. Small parties would stealthily 
land along the shore and plunder the people of their cattle and 
grain, and on some occasions they would even seize the inhabi- 
tants themselves. At one time Oliver Spink and Charles Tilling- 
hast, who was the grandfather of Senator Charles T. James, and 
who, it will be remembered, was the first enlisting officer ap- 
pointed by the town, were taken from their houses in Quidnes- 
sett and imprisoned in Newport. Here they contracted the small- 
pox, of which Spink died, but Tillinghast, who, with true Yankee 
ingenuity had previously vaccinated himself, passed safely 
through the disease. In June, 1779, a number of British soldiers 
landed in the night on the Quidnessett shore and surrounded the 
houses of John Allen and Christopher Spencer. The inmates, 
who at the time were asleep, were awakened and rudely turned 
out of doors and Allen's house was burned to the ground. The 
one in which Spencer lived belonged to a Tory, and on that ac- 
count escaped destruction. Half clad and terribly frightened, 
the other members of the two families were commanded to si- 
lence, and by the light of the burning dwelling saw Allen and 
Spencer marched at the bayonet's point to the shore, roughly 
thrust into a boat and carried to Newport. Here they were con- 
fined in a loathsome prison, where Spencer remained until the 
English troops evacuated Rhode Island ; but Allen, through the 
intercession of a lady friend of his family, was released a few 
months before. 

" Early in the war the General Assembly voted ' That one of 
the field pieces assigned to South Kingstown should be sent to 
and for the tise of North Kingstown.' The story of this old gun 
is as remarkable as it is interesting. It once saved Wickford 
from destruction, and again, as if to repay the debt, won great 
glory for the town which originally loaned it. In 1777 a com- 


pany was sent out in a barge from the British fleet to burn the 
village of Wickford, which was supposed to be undefended. 
They proceeded unmolested until they arrived at the mouth of 
the harbor, when, to their great surprise, the old gun, which 
had been stationed on the point where the light house now 
stands, fired into them, killed one man and caused them to 
hastily retrace their course. Soon after this occurrence news 
■came that a British man-of-war had grounded on Point Judith. 
Excitement ran high and the old gun was again resorted to ; 
but upon examination it was found that the Tories had spiked it. 
This difficulty was speedily removed. Samuel Bissell drilled it 
■out, and in a few hours, drawn by four oxen, it was on its way 
to the Point, where it was mounted on the shore behind the 
rocks, and after a vigorous firing of a few minutes, the ship, 
which proved to be the ' Syren,' a twenty-eight gun frigate, sur- 
rendered, and her crew of a hundred and sixty, officers and 
men, were carried prisoners to Providence. George Babcock, 
whose name heads the petition for the charter of the Newtown 
Rangers, was afterward one of the most successful commanders 
•of the American navy. In the ' Mifflin,' a twenty-gun ship, 
manned by 130 men, enlisted in North Kingstown and Exeter, 
he took prize after prize, and many an abler ship struck her 
■colors before the invincible Babcock and his men. While cruising 
■off the banks of Newfoundland in 1779, they fell in with the 
English ship ' Tartar,' mounting twenty-six guns, fourteen 
swivels, and with a complement of 162 men. The odds weighed 
heavily against them ; but,- after a fierce engagement of two 
hours and a half, the enemy struck her flag, and a few days 
afterward, amid the wildest enthusiasm, the firing of guns, the 
ringing of bells and the illumination of the city, James Eldred, 
a Wickford boy who had bfeen placed in command of the ' Tartar,' 
with a number of other prizes, sailed triumphantly into the har- 
bor of Boston. 

" Samuel Phillips, a man distinguished for his bravery, whose 
uncle, the Honorable Peter Phillips, was commissary under Gen- 
eral Nathaniel Greene in ' The army of Observation,' was at this 
lime lieutenant of the ' Mifflin.' Two years before, with Daniel 
Wall, his fellow-townsman, he volunteered under Colonel Barton 
and commanded one of the five boats in the daring expedition 
that captured Prescott and brought him safely through the 
^British fleet. In a journal written by himself Captain Phillips 


says : ' I have been in the late war Lieutenant of four twenty-gun. 
ships, one cutter of fourteen guns and commander of a brig of 
fourteen guns. I have ever strove hard and suffered much to 
help gain the independence of my country and am ready to step- 
forth again and oppose any power that shall endeavor to injure 
my country and her rights.' " 

The Kentish Guards. — The history of the Kentish Guards 
deserves more than a passing notice, for on three separate and 
distinct occasions they responded most gallantly to the voice of 
the authorities summoning them to action and perilous service. 
First the distant rumbling of the revolution called them into 
being, and when their organization was but half a year old their 
career was begun on the battle fields of Concord and Lexington. 
Two generations later, in the year 1842, they were again called 
into service to perform a deed requiring no small amount of 
fortitude and determination. Nineteen years more elapsed and 
again, within the memory of men now living, in the year 1861, 
when our commonwealth was again racked by the convulsions 
of war, an order comes from the capital of the state to the Kentish 
Guards to report at once to the commander-in-chief of the mili- 
tary of Rhode Island. One hundred strong, like their revolu- 
tionary sires a century ago, they responded without delay. The 
First Rhode Island Regiment being already filled, they waited 
until the formation of the Second, in which they enrolled as 
Company H. 

Beginning with the revolutionary struggle we find military 
organizations were being formed all over the country previous 
to the actual outbreak of hostilities. At the October session of 
1774, the general assembly granted a charter to the Pawtuxet 
Rangers ; also one to the Kentish Guards, an independent com- 
pany for the three towns of Warwick, East Greenwich and Cov- 
entry, from which at a later day were to be taken General James 
Mitchell Varnum, General Nathaniel Greene and Colonel Chris- 
topher Greene, with others of less note. The news of the battle 
of Lexington, on the 19th of April, 1775, aroused the patriotic 
spirit of Rhode Island to a still higher point, and three days after 
the battle of Lexington, the assembly met at Providence, and 
" Voted and resolved that fifteen hundred men be enlisted, raised 
and embodied as aforesaid, with all the expedition and despatch 
that the thing will admit of." This army was designed especi- 
ally as an army of observation, with its quarters in this state, " and 


also if it be necessary, for the safety and preservation of any of 
the colonies, to march out of this colony and join and co-operate 
with the forces of the neighboring colonies." It was subsequently 
formed into one brigade under the command of a brigadier-gen- 
eral, and the brigade was divided into three regiments, each of 
which was to be commanded by one colonel, one lieutenant- 
colonel and one major, while each regiment was to consist of 
eight companies. Nathaniel Greene was chosen the brigadier- 

The following act is copied from an old schedule of the doings 
of the general assembly in the year 1774 : 
" An act establishing an Independent Company by the name of Kentish 


" Whereas, The preservation of this Colony in time of war de- 
pends, under God, in the military skill and discipline of its in- 
habitants, and whereas a number of inhabitants of the Town of 
East Greenwich (to wit) : James Mitchell Varnum, Christopher 
Greene (son of Philip), Nathaniel Greene, Jr., Daniel Greene, 
Griffin Greene, Nathaniel Greene (son of Richard), Christopher 
Greene (son of James), John Greene, Charles Greene, Sylvester 
Greene, William Greene (son of Richard), Hopkins Cooke, Rich- 
ard Fry, Joseph Joslyn, Micah Whitmarsh, Augustus Mumford, 
John Cooke, Richard Mathewson, John S. Dexter, John Fry, 
Gideon Mumford,William Arnold, Archibald Crary, John Glazier, 
Stephen Mumford, Andrew Boyd, Eser Wall, Abial Brown, Oliver 
Gardiner, Clark Brown, Benjamin Spencer, James Searle, Gideon 
Freeborn, Wanton Casey, Job Peirce, John Reynolds and Samuel 
Brown, have petitioned this Assembly for an act of Incorporation, 
forming them and such others as shall be joined unto them (not 
exceeding One Hundred Men, Rank and file), into a Company by 
the name of the Kentish Guards ; 

" Wherefore, This General Assembly to encourage a Design so 
laudable, have Ordained, Constituted and Granted, and hereby 
do Ordain, Constitute and Appoint, that the said Petitioners and 
such others as may be joined to them (not exceeding One Hun- 
dred Men, Rank and File), be and they are hereby declared to 
be an Independent Company, by the name of the Kentish 
Guards, and by that name shall have perpetual succession, and 
shall have all the Rights, Powers and Privileges in Grant here- 
after mentioned. 


''First, It is Granted unto the said Company, that they, or the 
major part of them, shall and may once in every year, to wit: 
on the last Wednesday in April, meet and assemble themselves 
together, in some convenient place by them appointed, then and 
there to choose their Officers, to wit : One Captain, Two Lieuten- 
ants and One Ensign, and all other Officers necessary for train- 
ing, disciplining, and well ordering said Company ; at which 
meeting no Officer shall be chosen, but by the greater number of 
votes then present ; The Captain, Lieutenants and Ensign to be 
approved of by the Governor and Council for the time being ; 
and shall be commissioned in the same manner as other Military 
Officers in this Colony. 

" Secondly, That the said Company shall have liberty to meet 
and exercise themselves upon such other days and as often as they 
shall think necessary and not be subject to the Orders or Direc- 
tions of the Colonel or other Field Officers of the Regiment in 
whose District they live in such meetings and exercisings ; and 
that they be obliged to meet for exercising at least four times in 
each year, upon the penalty of paying to, and for the use of the 
Company, to wit : the Captain for each day's neglect, three 
pounds, lawful money, the Lieutenants and Ensign, each twenty 
shillings, lawful money, the Clerk and other subaltern Officers, 
each twelve shillings, lawful money, and private Soldiers, six 
shillings, lawful money, to be collected by warrant of distress, 
directed to the Clerk from the Captain or other Officer. 

" Thirdly, That said Company or the greater number of them 
make all such laws. Rules and Orders among themselves as they 
shall deem expedient for the well ordering and disciplining 
said Company and lay any Penalty or Fine for the breach of 
such Rules, not exceeding twelve shillings, lawful money, for one 
offence to be collected as aforesaid. 

" Fourthly, That all those who shall be duly enlisted in the said 
Company, so long as they shall continue therein, shall be ex- 
empted from bearing arms or doing other militarj^ duty (watch- 
ing and warding duty excepted) in the several Companies, or 
Train Bands, in whose District they respectively live, excepting 
such as shall be Officers in any of the said Company's or Train 

''Fifthly, That if any Officer or Officers of the Company shall 
be disapproved by the Governor or Council, or shall remove out 
of the said County of Kent, or shall be taken away by death, 


that then, and in such cases the Captain of said Company, or 
Superior Oflficer, for the election of another, or others in their or 
his stead, who shall be so removed. 

" Sixthly, For the further of said Company, it is granted 

that the Captain of said Company shall be of the rank of Colonel, 
and that the first Lieutenant be of the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, 
that the Second Lieutenant be of the rank of Major, and that 
the Ensign be of the rank of Captain ; that the said OfEcers shall 
be of the Court Martial and Council of War, in the Regiment, 
in whose district they live ; that upon all General Reviews and 
General Musters, the said Company shall rank the First Inde- 
pendent Company for the County of Kent, and that in time of 
alarm the said Company shall be under the immediate direction 
of the Commander-in-Chief in the Colony. 

"It is Voted and Resolved, that the Secretary of this Colony be, 
and he is hereby directed to make a fair copy of the preceding 
Act, establishing the Company called the Kentish Guards, affix 
the Colony Seal thereto, and transmit the same to the said Com- 

" And it is further Voted and Resolved, at the request of the said 
Company, that the following Officers be, and they are hereby ap- 
pointed to command the same : 

" James Mitchell Varnum, Captain. 
Richard Fry, First Lieutenant. 
Christopher Greene, Second Lieutenant. 
Hopkins Cooke, Ensign." 

This company furnished more officers of importance for the 
revolutionary army than any other in New England, or perhaps 
in the United States. It furnished one major-general, Nathaniel 
Greene ; one brigadier-general, James M. Varnum ; two colonels, 
Christopher Greene and Archibald Crary; one major, John S. 
Dexter ; and one captain, Thomas Arnold ; besides a large num- 
ber of inferior ones. 

The following sketches, taken from Doctor Greene's history of 
East Greenwich, will be read with interest in this connection. 
The first, a letter belonging to Wanton Casey, Esq. (the first 
cashier of the Rhode Island Central Bank), is very interesting as 
a record of the writer's personal experience. It was written to 
Judge Johnson, of South Carolina, who published a " Life of 
General Greene ": 

" I was one of the petitioners to the General Assembly to grant 


a Charter for an Independent Company, called the Kentish 
Guards ; said petition was granted in October, 1774 ; previous to 
the battle of Lexington, in 1775. The Company was dressed in 
uniform, well armed and disciplined, amounting to between 
eighty and one hundred men, rank and file. On the morning 
after the battle of Lexington, and in two or three hours after the 
news arrived, we were on the march with one hundred and ten 
men, rank and file, for the scene of action, several volunteers 
having joined ; we marched to Pawtucket, about twenty miles 
from East Greenwich, and there received another express, say- 
ing that the British Troops had returned to Boston ; we there- 
fore returned to East Greenwich, where we continued to do duty 
by keeping up a regular guard for a long time. 

" Captain Wallace, who commanded a British ship, mounting 
between twenty and thirty guns, and Captain Ascough, mounting 
about twenty, with several smaller vessels as tenders, kept us 
constantly on the alert ; Captain Wallace, being the senior officer, 
could land, including marines, between two hundred and fifty or 
three hundred men ; he landed with a number of his men on 
Canonicut Island, and burnt most of the houses on the Island, 
and burnt or took away the furniture, provisions and sheep, shot 
many cattle, and killed some of the inhabitants, and others he 
made prisoners. 

" East Greenwich, situated on Narragansett Bay, was exposed 
to his depredations, and I believe that nothing but the continued 
efforts of the Kentish Guards prevented their burning the Town. 
We erected a Fort at the entrance of the harbor, and had eight 
or ten cannon mounted, to prevent their Boats and Tenders get- 
ting into the harbor, and kept a regular guard there for a long 
time ; a vessel had been driven on shore and taken by the enemy 
at Warwick Neck by two Tenders full of men ; the Commander 
of the Kentish Guards, Colonel Richard Fry, proposed to retake 
her ; we crossed the outer harbor (about four miles) in boats, and 
marched down opposite the vessel, behind a beach, and after oc- 
casionally firing and receiving the fire from the two Tenders for 
three or four hours, we drove them off, and retook the vessel ; 
during this action one of our men named Ned Pearce was 
wounded, and was obliged to have his arm amputated. 

" Some time afterward Captain Wallace came up the Bay from 
Newport, and anchored between Bristol and the Island of Pru- 
dence, and plundered the inhabitants ; Colonel Fry proposed our 


■going to prevent their landing ; we accordingly took boats, it be- 
ing about six miles by water, and landed very early in the 
morning ; while eating breakfast at the north end of the Island, 
we received news by a man who ran very fast, that the enemy 
were landing three or four miles below ; we had already sent 
back the boats we came in, for a reinforcement, being disap- 
pointed in not meeting ninety men from the Island of Rhode 
Island, who had engaged to meet us ; our resource was to brave 
the danger as well as we could, being only about eighty men, 
rank and file, when we knew that the enemy could land two hun- 
dred and fifty; we immediately formed, with drums beating and 
colors flying, which daring had the desired effect ; on discerning 
cus- they returned to their vessels, and we were reinforced in the 
afternoon; during the night following the enemy got under 
weigh and returned to Newport, while we returned to East 

"Some time after this the enemy landed on Prudence and 
burnt most, if not all the houses on the Island; our company was 
frequently called out in the night to march to Quidnesitt, two or 
three miles below East Greenwich, to prevent the enemy taking 
■off cattle and plundering the inhabitants ; the British were joined 
by a number of Tories, well acquainted with that part of the 
■country, and until there were two pieces of Artillery attached to 
the Company, we could not keep their boats at a respectful dis- 
tance ; before and after the British fleet took possession of the 
Island of Rhode Island, in 1776, detachments from our Com- 
pany were frequently called for to take up Tories and suspected 
-persons, many of whom were in the Colony at that time, particu- 
larly in our neighborhood, and as I kept a fleet horse, was often 
-called on ; I well remember going out one night, under the com- 
mand of General Varnum and Colonel Sherbourn in search of a 
man named Hart (a spy from the enemy), and after riding all 
night, and taking some suspected persons, who informed us 
where to find him, we surrounded a house in Exeter, just at day- 
light, and after searching sometime we found where he was se- 
•creted ; he was tried by a Court Martial in Providence and con- 
victed ; he had enlisted a number of men, some of whom procured 
boats and joined the enemy on Rhode Island. 

" Our Company (the Kentish Guards) was on Rhode Island at 
-what was called Sullivan's Expedition, but we came off before 


the battle, our time having expired, and there being no prospect 
of attacking the enemy ; but as soon as we heard the firing of 
the advance on the day of the action (which we could very dis- 
tinctly from East Greenwich), we embarked on board of a sloop 
with the intention of landing on the north end of the Island as a 
reinforcement, but after passing Prudence Island an armed vessel 
of the enemy endeavoured to cut us off, and we were compelled 
to bear away and land on Pappoosesquaw Point, about two miles 
north of Prudence Island and directly opposite the Town of 
Bristol; we there learned that the enemy intended to retreat 
from the Island, and we had orders not to go on, but helped to 
take care of the wounded who were brought to said place. 

" During the latter part of the year 1775 and in 1776, thirty-five 
members of the Kentish Guards entered the Continental service ; 
among whom were General Nathaniel Greene, General James- 
Mitchell Varnum, Colonel Christopher Greene, who defeated the 
Hessians at Red Bank — having under him a number of Officers 
from our Company — Major Flagg, Colonel Archibald Crary, Major 
John S. Dexter and others." 

The old fort at East Greenwich, alluded to by Mr. Casey, was. 
erected on the bank near the entrance of our harbor, about mid- 
way between our village and Chipinoxet, and nearly opposite 
Long Point. After the war, the cannon mounted there were re- 
moved to West Point, and the embankments of the fort gradually 
went to decay. At the present time not the slightest trace of 
Fort Daniel is to be seen. 

Mr. Wanton Casey was born in East Greenwich in 1760, and 
consequently was only fourteen years old in 1774, when he joined 
the Kentish Guards, being one of the original petitioners for the 
charter, and probably was the youngest man in the country who 
took up arms during the revolutionary war. He continued to 
perform duty in the company until 1778, at which time, in conse- 
quence of constant exposure, his health was so much impaired 
that he was compelled to leave the army. His physician advised 
a sea voyage and a milder climate. He therefore went to France, 
where he resided for a number of years, extensively engaged in 
business as one of the firm of the large importing house of Silas 
Casey & Son, of East Greenwich. 

In Bartlett's " Colonial Records," is the following paper refer- 
ring to East Greenwich : 


"Subscription for the Relief of the Inhabitants of Boston and Charles- 
town, in the Tozvn of East Grecnwicli : 

" East Greenwich, August 1774. 

" We, the subscribers, inhabitants of the town of East Green- 
wich in the Colony of Rhode Island, taking into the most serious 
consideration the present alarming situation of our brethren in 
the towns of Boston and Charlestown, in the Province of Massa- 
chusetts Bay, occasioned by the late cruel, malignant and worse 
than savage acts of the British Parliament ; and whereas a tame 
submission to the first approaches of lawless power will undoubt- 
edly involve this extensive continent in one scene of misery and 
servitude, than which, a glorious death, in defence of our unques- 
tionable rights is far more eligible ; convinced likewise, that the 
only true glory and unfading grandeur of the British Monarch 
consists in governing his extensive empire with equal and im- 
partial laws, founded in reason and rendered sacred by the wis- 
dom of ages ; and that every attempt to impair that noble consti- 
tution, which hath ever been the envy and terror of Europe, con- 
stitutes the blackest treason — from the most earnest abhorrence 
to the deep-laid schemes of his prime minister, whom we esteem 
the most determined foe to royalty ; and from our love to our 
country, which nothing but death can abate, we do promise and 
engage to pay by the first day of October next, the respective 
sums to our names annexed, to James Mitchell Varnum, Esq., 
Messrs. A. Mumford, Preserved Pearce and William Pearce, to be 
laid out and expended in such articles of provisions, for our dis- 
tressed brethren, as the majority of us shall agree upon to be sent 
to the committee of ways and means for employing the poor in 
Boston, by the first conveyance. — Providence Gazette." 

A somewhat important event occurred at this time, at the rais- 
ing of the Congregational church in East Greenwich. After the 
large number of men who had assembled for the purpose of rais- 
ing the building had finished their labor, they met and burned the 
effigy of Stephen Arnold, a man of some note in the county, who 
at that time had made himself very unpopular by his violent 
Tory principles. On hearing of this insult, Stephen Arnold, who 
resided about four or five miles from the village, collected a num- 
ber of his friends for the purpose of marching down and destroy- 
ing it. He enlisted several hundred men, exercised and man- 
oeuvred them privately, until his plans were completed, and fixed 
on a time and place preparatory to making a descent on the vil- 


lage. The place of meeting was about two miles west of the vil- 
lage at the corner of the two roads, near the residence of the late 
Daniel Rowland. 

The scheme was so well arranged, and the secret so well kept, 
that nothing but the treachery of one of his men, to whom the 
whole plan was disclosed, saved the village from destruction. 
The prime mover divulged the secret to Thomas Tillinghast, sup- 
posing from his well-known Tory feelings, he would readily fall 
into the scheme ; but Mr. Tillinghast, although belonging to the 
same political party with Arnold, would not join a treasonable 
band collected for the gratification of private revenge. He there- 
fore proceeded to put the inhabitants of East Greenwich on their 
guard. He arrived here about midnight, and after calling up 
some of the people, placed before them the whole affair. The 
story appeared so improbable that it had few believers. Very 
few could think that such men would seriously contemplate so 
daring an act. However, as Mr. Tillinghast was well known to 
be perfectly trustworthy, they prepared themselves for the worst. 

At that time there resided in the village an old lady, called 
Peggy Pearce, who was a remarkably shrewd, observing sort of 
person, and therefore one well fitted for an emergency. She kept 
a shop on Main street, and was in the habit of trading with the 
people of West Greenwich, where most of the rioters lived, and 
was therefore well situated to fulfill the part of a spy. 

The next day after the alarm she went on horseback through 
a portion of West Greenwich and Coventry, with the ostensible 
purpose of purchasing woolen yarn and linen thread, then furn- 
ished solely by the farmers' wives and daughters, but her real ob- 
ject was to ascertain if possible when the attack was to be made. 
By dropping a few casual remarks, and making some apparently 
idle inquiries, she learned not only that the report was true, but 
also that the attack would be made on the following day or night. 
She returned to the village and made known the result of her 
mission. A meeting was hastily called by the inhabitants, and 
Samuel Brown was dispatched to Providence requesting the gov- 
ernor to send the military to their assistance. The governor an- 
swered the call promptly, sending the light infantry and cadets 
to their aid. 

The rioters assembled at their rendezvous, but on learning that 
their intentions were discovered and that the inhabitants were 
prepared for the encounter, they sent out Arnold and others as 


scouts, who, happening, in their eagerness, to approach rather too 
near the village, were captured. Stephen Arnold was compelled 
to make an apology to the villagers, expressing his sorrow and 
regret, and upon promising to desist from all further attempts, 
and dismiss his followers, he was released. And thus ended the 

Judge Staples, in his book entitled the " Annals of Providence," 
refers to this affair in the following manner : 

"The following month (September, 1774), the Light Infantry 
and Cadet Companys were requested by the Sheriff of the Coun- 
ty of Kent, at East Greenwich, to disperse a mob there assembled, 
and threatening to destroy the village ; an express arrived here 
(Providence), about two in the morning, and these two companies 
reached their place of destination, at nine the same morning. 

"It seems that the people of East Greenwich had charged 
Stephen Arnold of Warwick, one of the Judges of the inferior 
court in that County, with propagating principles unfriendly to 
American liberty, and hung him in effigy ; he had called together 
his friends to the number of some hundreds, to avenge himself 
for these insults ; after the arrival of the military, he acknowl- 
edged that he had been indiscreet in his proceedings, being ac- 
tuated by fear and resentment ; he signed a paper confessing 
these facts and declaring himself to be a friend to the liberties 
of his country, and that he disapproved of those measures which 
were intended to impose any taxes on America without her con- 
sent ; upon this and his promising to discourage all such unlaw- 
ful assemblies for the future, peace was restored in the village 
and the Military returned home." 

The battle of Bunker Hill having been fought, increasing 
preparations were made throughout the Rhode Island colony for 
the struggle. Every man capable of bearing arms was required 
to equip himself for service and to drill half a day semi-monthly. 
Six additional companies of sixty men each were ordered to be 
raised and to join the brigade, which had now been placed under 
the general direction of Washington, who was now in the vicin- 
ity of Boston.- A brig from the West Indies had been captured 
off Warwick Neck, and the adjacent shore pillaged of much live 
stock. Additional forces were raised throughout the colony. In 
January, 1776, Warwick Neck was fortified, and a company of ar- 
tillery and minute men were sent to defend it. Two new regi- 
ments of seven hundred and fifty men each were raised, and 


united in one brigade. Of one of these regiments, Henry Bab- 
cock was colonel, and Christopher Lippitt, of this town, was lieu- 

The following account of Colonel Lippitt is from the pen of 
John Howland, Esq. At the time it was written, Mr. Howland 
was president of the Rhode Island Historical Society : " Christo- 
pher Lippitt was a member of the General Assembly. In Jan- 
uary, 1776, he was appointed Lieut. Col. of the regiment raised 
by the State — Col. Harry Babcock was commander. He shortly 
quitted the service and Lieut. Col. Lippitt was promoted to the 
of&ce of Colonel. I enlisted in Capt. Dexter 's company. We 
were stationed on the island of Rhode Island. The regiment 
was taken into the continental service, and the officers commis- 
sioned by Congress. After the disastrous battle of Long Island, 
we were ordered to join Washington's army, at New York. 

" On the 31st of Dec, 1776, while the army under Washington 
was in Jersey, the term of all the continental troops expired, ex- 
cept Lippitt's regiment, which had eighteen days more to serve. 
The brigade to which they were attached consisted of five regi- 
ments, three of which (Varnum's, Hitchcock's and Lippitt's) were 
from Rhode Island. Col. Hitchcock commanded the brigade, 
and Lippitt's regiment counted more than one third of the 
whole. This was the time that tried both soul and body. We 
had by order of the General left our tents at Bristol, on the other 
side of the Delaware. We were standing on frozen ground, cov- 
ered with snow. The hope of the commander-in-chief was sus- 
tained by the character of these half-frozen, half-starved men, that 
he could persuade them to serve another month, until the new 
recruits should arrive. He made the attempt and it succeeded. 
Gen. Mifflin addressed our men, at his request ; he did it well. 
The request of the General was acceded to by our unanimously 
poising the firelock as a signal. Within two hours after this vote 
we were on our march to Trenton. Col. Lippitt's regiment was 
in the battle at Trenton, when retreating over the bridge, it be- 
ing narrow, our platoons were in passing it, crowded into a 
dense and solid mass, in the rear of which the enemy were 
making their best efforts. The noble horse of Gen. Washing- 
ton stood with his breast pressed close against the end of the 
west rail of the bridge ; and the firm, composed, and majestic 
countenance of the general inspired confidence and assurance, in 
a moment so important and critical. 


"They did not succeed in their attempt to cross the bridge. 
Although the creek was fordable between the bridge and the 
Delaware, they declined attempting a passage in the face of 
those who presented a more serious obstruction than the water. 
On one hour — yes, on forty minutes, commencing at the moment 
when the British first saw the bridge and the creek before them 
— depended the all-important, the all-absorbing question, whether 
we should be independent States or conquered rebels ! Had the 
army of Cornwallis within that space crossed the bridge or 
forded the creek, unless a miracle had intervened, there would 
have been an end to the American army. 

" Col. Lippitt was in the battle of Princeton. The commander- 
in-chief after the action, took the commander of our brigade 
(Col. Hitchcock) by the hand, expressing his high approbation 
of his conduct and that of the troops he commanded, and wished 
him to communicate his thanks to his officers and men. 

" Col. Lippitt continued in service during the war. He after- 
terward removed to Cranston. He was appointed major-general 
of State's militia. He died on his farm in Cranston. Charles 
Lippitt, the brother of Col. Lippitt, was an officer in the revolu- 
tionary war, and for many years a member of the General As- 
sembly. He died in Providence, in August, 1845, aged 91. 

" Christopher Lippitt, son of Moses, was born November 29th, 
1712. He married Catherine Holden, daughter of Anthony and 
Phebe (Rhodes) Holden, January 2d, 1736, and had twelve chil- 
dren, of whom Colonel Christopher Lippitt, the revolutionary 
hero, was the fourth." 

The exposed condition of the seaboard towns rendered it ad- 
visable for the women and children to remove into the interior, 
and many of them accordingly left their homes for safer quarters. 
Warwick Neck was defended by Colonel John Waterman's regi- 
ment, and Pawtuxet by that of Colonel Samuel Aborn. In July, 
1777, one of the most daring and skilfully executed acts that oc- 
curred during the war, resulted in the seizure of General Pres- 
cott, the British commander on Rhode Island, by Lieutenant- 
Colonel William Barton, who was at the time stationed at Tiver- 
ton. Prescott was quartered about five miles from Newport, on 
the west road leading to the ferry. 

Capture of Prescott. — The following is from Lossing's 
" Pictorial Field-Book," which fully describes the bold and suc- 
cessful expedition of General Barton : 


" Early in May, 1777 (one hundred years ago), the command of 
the British troops who held possession of Newport, devolved 
upon Major-General Prescott, infamous in the annals of war, as 
one of the meanest of petty tyrants when in power, and of das- 
tards when in danger. Possessing a narrow mind, utterly untu- 
tored by benevolence or charity ; a judgment perverse in the 
extreme ; a heart callous to the most touching appeals of sym- 
pathy, but tender when avarice half opened its lips to plead, he 
was a most unfit commander of a military guard over people like 
those of Rhode Island, who could appreciate courtesy ; but he 
was a tyrant at heart, and having the opportunity he exercised a 
tyrant's doubtful prerogatives. 

" General Lee was captured by the British in New Jersey, in 
December, 1776, while passing from the Hudson to join Wash- 
ington on the Delaware ; the Americans had no prisoner of equal 
military rank to exchange for him, therefore Colonel Barton con- 
ceived the bold plan of capturing General Prescott, in order to 
exchange him for General Lee ; it was accomplished on the. 
night of the liJth of July, 1777, six months after the capture of 

" At that time General Prescott was quartered at the house of 
a Quaker named Overing, about five miles above Newport, on the 
west road leading to the ferry, at the north part of the Island. 
Barton's plan was to cross Narragansett Bay from the main, seize 
Prescott and carry him to the American camp. It was a very 
hazardous undertaking, for at that time there were three British 
frigates, with their guard-boats, lying east of Prudence Island, 
and almost in front of Prescott's quarters. With a few chosen 
men Colonel Barton embarked in four whale boats, with muffled 
oars, at Warwick Neck, at nine o'clock in the evening, and passed 
unobserved over to Rhode Island, between the islands of Pru- 
dence and Patience. They heard the cry, ' All's well,' from the 
guard-boats of the enemy, as they passed silently and unob- 
served, and landed in Coddington's Cove, at the mouth of a small 
stream which passed by the quarters of Prescott. Barton divided 
his men into several squads, assigning to each its duty -and sta- 
tion, and then with the strictest order and profound silence, they 
advanced towards the house. The main portion of the expedi- 
tion passed about midway between a British guard-house and the 
encampment of a company of light horse, while the remainder 
was to make a circuitous route to approach Prescott's quarters 


from the rear and secure the doors. As Barton and his men ap- 
proached a gate, a sentinel hailed them twice, and then de- 
manded the countersign. 'We have no countersign to give,' 
Barton said, and quickly added, ' Have you seen any deserters 
here to-night ?' The sentinel was misled by this question, sup- 
posing them to be friends, and was not undeceived until his 
musket was seized and himself bound and menaced with instant 
death if he made any noise. The doors had been secured by the 
division from the rear, and Barton entered the front passage 
boldly. Mr. Overing sat alone, reading, the rest of the family 
being in bed, and Barton inquired for General Prescott's room. 
Overing pointed upward, signifying that it was directly over 
the room in which they were standing. With four strong 
men and Sisson, a powerful negro who accompanied them. Bar- 
ton ascended the stairs and gently tried the door. It was locked ; 
no time was lost in parleying ; the negro drew back a couple of 
paces, and using his head for a battering-ram, burst open the 
door at the first effort. The general, supposing the intruders to 
be robbers, sprang from his bed and seized his gold watch that 
was hanging upon the wall. Barton placed his hand gently upon 
the general's shoulder, told him he was his prisoner, and that 
perfect silence was his only safety now. Prescott asked time to 
dress, but it being a hot July night, and time precious, Barton 
refused acquiescence, feeling that it would not be cruel to take 
him across the bay, where he could make his toilet with more 
care, at his leisure. So, throwing his cloak around him, and 
placing him between two armed men, the prisoner was hurried 
to the shore. In the mean time. Major Barrington, Prescott's 
aid, hearing the noise in the general's room, leaped from a win- 
dow to escape, but was captured, and he and the sentinel sta- 
tioned in the centre of the party. At abotit midnight captors 
and prisoners landed at Warwick Neck Point, where General 
Prescott first broke the silence by saying to Colonel Barton, ' Sir, 
you have made a bold push to-night.' ' We have been fortunate,' 
coolly replied Barton. 

" Captain Elliot was there with a coach to convey the prison- 
ers to Providence, where they arrived at sunrise. Prescott was 
kindly treated by General Spencer and other officers, and in the 
course of a few days was sent to the headquarters of Washing- 
ton, at Middlebrook, on the Raritan. Prescott was exchanged 


for General Charles Lee in April following, and soon afterwards 
resumed his command of the British troops on Rhode Island. 

"On account of the bravery displayed and the importance of 
the service in this expedition, Congress, having a ' just sense of 
the gallant behavior of Lieutenant-Colonel Barton and the brave 
officers and men of his party, who distinguished their valor and 
address in making prisoner of Major-General Prescott, of the 
British army, and Major William Barrington, his aid-de-camp,' 
voted Barton an elegant sword ; and on the 24th of December 
following he was promoted to the rank and pay of colonel in the 
Continental army. 

" The officers on the expedition were : Andrew Stanton, Samuel 
Potter, John Wilcox. Non-commissioned officers, Joshua Bab- 
cock and Samuel Philips. Privates, Benjamin Pren, James Pot- 
ter, Henry Fisher, James Parker, Joseph Guild, Nathan Smith, 
Isaac Brown, Billington Crumb, James Haines, Samuel Apis, 
Alderman Crank, Oliver Simmons, Jack Sherman, Joel Briggs, 
Clark Packard, Samuel Corey, James Weaver, Clark Crandall, 
Sampson George, Jedediah Grenale, Joseph Ralph, Richard 
Hare, Darius Wale, Jeremiah Thomas, Joseph Denis, William 
BrufE, Charles Hasset, Thomas Wilcox, Pardon Cory, John Hunt, 
Daniel Page (a Narragansett Indian), Thomas Austin, Jack Sis- 
son (black), and Howe, or Whiting, a boat steerer. 

" Prescott, while in command at Newport, rendered the citi- 
zens uncomfortable in every way possible. He imprisoned some 
of them for months without any assigned reason ; among others 
was William Tripp, who had a large family, but the tyrant would 
not allow him to hold any communication with them, either writ- 
ten or verbal. The first intelligence he received from them was 
by a letter, baked in a loaf of bread, which was sent to him by 
his wife. In this way a correspondence was kept up during his 
confinement of many months. 

" AVhen Prescott took possession of his town quarters he had a 
fine sidewalk made for his accommodation some distance along 
Pelham and up Spring street, for which purpose he took the door- 
steps belonging to other dwellings. The morning after the evacu- 
ation the owners of the steps hastened to Prescott's quarters, each 
to claim his door-stone. It was a very exciting scene, for some- 
times two or three persons, not positive in their identification, 
claimed the same stone. Prescott's fine promenade soon disap- 
peared, and 


" ' The good citizens, some younger some older, 
Each carrying a door-stone home on his shoulder,' 

bore off their long- abused door-steps." 

Colonel Christopher Greene.— In May, 1781, a sad event 
occurred which deprived the country of the valuable services of 
Colonel Christopher Greene, and of whose career some notes in 
this connection will be made. Colonel Henry Lee, in speaking 
of him, says : 

" Exhibiting in early life his capacity and amiability, he was 
elected by his native town to a seat in the colonial legislature in 
October, 1770, and he continued to fill the same by successive 
elections until October, 1772. In 1774 the legislature wisely es- 
tablished a military corps, styled the ' Kentish Guards,' for the 
purpose of fitting the most select of her youth for military offi- 
cers. In this corps young Greene was chosen a lieutenant, and 
in May, 1775, he was appointed by the legislature a major in what 
was called ' An army of Observation,' a brigade of 1,600 effectives, 
under the orders of his near relative. Brigadier Greene, afterward 
so celebrated. 

" From this situation he was promoted to the command of a 
company of infantry in one of the regiments raised by the state, 
for continental service. The regiment to which he belonged was 
attached to the army of Canada, conducted by General Mont- 
gomery. In the attack upon Quebec, which terminated the cam- 
paign, as well as the life of the renowned Montgomery, Captain 
Greene belonged to the column which entered the town, and was 
taken prisoner." 

As soon as Captain Greene was exchanged he was promoted to 
major of Varnum's regiment. In 1777 he succeeded to the com- 
mand of the regiment, and was selected by Washington to take 
command of Fort Mercer (commonly called Red Bank), and for 
the gallant defense of this fort Congress made a suitable ac- 
knowledgment by passing a resolution November 4th, 1777, 
" That an elegant sword be provided by the Board of War and 
presented to Col. Greene." Colonel Greene did not live to receive 
the sword, but several years after his death it was presented to 
his son, Job Greene, of Centreville. 

Continuing, Colonel Lee says: "In the spring of 1781, when 
General Washington began to expect the promised aid from our 
best friend, the ill-fated Louis XVI., he occasionally approached 
the enemy's lines on the side of York Island. In one of these 


movements Colonel Greene, with a suitable force, was posted on- 
the Croton river in advance of the army. On the other side of 
this river lay a corps of refugees (American citizens who had 
joined the British army), under the command of Colonel De- 
lancy. These half citizens, half soldiers, were notorious for 
rapine and murder ; and to their vindictive conduct may be as- 
cribed most of the cruelties which stained the progress of our 
war, and which compelled Washington to order Captain Asgill, 
of the British army, to be brought to headquarters for the pur- 
pose of retaliating, by his execution, for the murder of Captain 
Huddy, of New Jersey, perpetrated by a Captain Lippincourt, of 
the refugees. The commandant of these refugees (Delancy was 
not present) having ascertained the position of Greene's corps, 
which the colonel had cantoned in adjacent farm houses, — prob- 
ably with a view to the procurement of subsistence, — took the 
resolution to strike it. This was accordingly done by a nocturnal 
movement on the 13th of May. The enemy crossed the Croton 
before daylight, and hastening his advance reached our station 
with the dawn of day, unperceived. As he approached the farm 
house in which the lieutenant-colonel was quartered, the noise 
of troops marching was heard, which was the first intimation of 
the fatal design. Greene and Major Flagg immediately pre- 
pared themselves for defense, but they were too late, so expedi- 
tious was the progress of the enemy. Flagg discharged his pis- 
tols, and instantly afterwards fell mortally wounded, when the 
ruffians (unworthy of the appellation of soldiers) burst open the 
door of Greene's apartment. Here the gallant veteran singly re- 
ceived them with his drawn sword. Several fell beneath the arm 
accustomed to conquer, till at length, overpowered by numbers 
and faint from the loss of blood streaming from his wounds, 
barbarity triumphed over valor. His right arm was almost cut 
off in two places, the left in one, a severe cut on the left shoulder, 
a sword thrust through the abdomen, a bayonet in the right side, 
several sword cuts on the head and many in different parts of 
the body. 

" Thus cruelly mangled, fell the generous conqueror of Count 
Dunop, whose wounds, as well as those of his unfortunate asso- 
ciates, had been tenderly dressed as soon as the battle terminated, 
and whose pains and sorrows had been as tenderly assuaged. 
The commander-in-chief heard with anguish and indignation 
the tragical fate of his loved — his faithful friend and soldier — 


in whose feelings the army sincerely participated. On the sub- 
sequent day the corpse was brought to headquarters, and his 
funeral was solemnized with military honors and universal 

Lieutenant-colonel Greene was but forty-four years old when 
he was murdered. He married in 1758 Anna, daughter of J. 
Lippitt, Esq., of Warwick. His home was in C'entreville. His 
house stood where now stands the Levally House. He was a son 
of Philip Greene, an associate judge of the supreme court in 
1758, and great-grandson of Deputy John Greene. 

General Nathaniel Greene was born June 6th, 1742, in that 
part of the town of Warwick still known by its original name of 
Powtowomut. He was the fifth in descent from John Greene, 
St., who with a few companions took up their solitary abode in 
the then wilderness of Shawomet, a century before. Nathaniel 
Greene, his father, was a Quaker and an eloquent preacher. He 
owned a forge, grist mill and saw mill, which he had set up on 
the little river that wended its way through his lands. Under 
his care his eight sons grew to manhood. He was a rigid dis- 
ciplinarian and trained his children according to the old maxim, 
with the rod. 

General Greene early manifested an ardent desire for knowl- 
edge, which was gratified as far as opportunities allowed. As he 
approached his majority the natural inclination for society 
strongly developed itself, but the frequent merry makings in the 
surrounding families during the long winter evenings were es- 
pecially coveted and could be enjoyed only by stealth. Upon 
the return from one of these occasions he discovered the person 
of his father patiently waiting, whip in hand, beneath the very 
window through which he alone could find entrance. In this 
emergency, knowing there was no remedy against the applica- 
tion of the rod, he conceived an idea which suggested a ready 
capacity for military resource. A pile of shingles lay at hand 
and before he supposed his father beheld his approach he insin- 
uated beneath his jacket a sufficient number of thin layers of 
shingles to shield his back and shoulders from the thong. With 
this secret corset he approached and received his punishment 
with the most exemplary fortitude. The old man laid on with 
the utmost unction, but the hardy resignation with which the 
lad received his punishment was exemplary. 

The danger that threatened the colonies awakened his patri- 


otic sentiments, and turned the current of his boyhood teachings 
of non-resistance into war-like channels, and led him by diligent 
study of such books as he could procure, to prepare himself for 
the active and important position to which he was subsequently 

Previous to the breaking out of the revolutionary war, in con- 
nection with several of his brothers, he removed to Coventry, 
where he carried on an extensive business in forging anchors. 
Their forge stood near where the Quidneck Railroad bridge now 

He married Catharine, daughter of John Littlefield, of New 
Shoreham, July 20th, 1774. General Greene's subsequent military 
career may be said to have commenced the same year as his mar- 
riage. As a successful military commander in the revolutionary 
struggle it is generally allowed that he stood next to Washing- 
ton. In the latter part of 1785 he removed with his family to 
Georgia, where he died on the 19th of June, 1786. 

The Dorr Rebellion. — In the year 1663 the colony of Rhode 
Island received from Charles II., king of Great Britain, a " charter " 
which up to the year 1842 was the written fundamental law of 
the state. After the American revolution the royal authority 
over the colony was repudiated, and Rhode Island became a free 
and independent state. Most other states adopted new forms of 
government at that time, but Rhode Island continued under the 
royal charter. The charter government does not appear to have 
been strongly objected to until 1814, when a bill was introduced 
into the senate for an extension of suffrage, which was defeated. 
In the year 1824, by the direction of the general assembly, a writ- 
ten constitution was submitted to the people, who rejected it by 
a majority of 1,538 votes. 

Thomas W. Dorr was elected to the assembly as a whig in the 
year 1833, and about that time became conspicuous as a leader of 
the free suffrage party. 

The most odious features in the old charter were considered 
to be the inequality of representation, but more particularly the 
fact that every voter must possess $134 of real estate and his 
eldest son admitted to the privilege of the father. The people 
evidently desired a change. The first movement, which resulted 
in the Dorr rebellion, commenced early in 1841. The suffrage 
convention was held in Providence on the 7th day of April, and 
was an important and respectable gathering, both as to numbers 


and character. A second convention was held at Newport in May 
following, at which a state convention was appointed, which issued 
an address and called a convention to form a constitution. 

Delegates were to be elected on the last Saturday in August, 
and the convention to assemble on the first Monday in October 
in Providence. The general assembly had already called a con- 
stitutional convention to meet in November. This was called 
the " Freeholders' Convention," the other the " Suffrage Con- 

Subsequent meetings followed, in which general organizations 
and thorough discussions were made preparatory for a political 
campaign. The suffrage convention submitted a constitution to 
the people December 27th, 28th and 29th, 1841. When they 
counted the votes, January 12th, 1842, they declared the number 
to be 13,944 — freemen's or landed qualification vote, 4,960 ; non- 
freeholders' vote, 8,984 — which was claimed to be a decided ma- 
jority of the adult male citizens of the state. The judges of the 
supreme court of the state gave an opinion on the 2d of March, 
1842, that the doings of the suffrage party were illegal and void. 
The meeting for the freeholders' convention was held on the 
21st, 22d and 23d of March. At this time the freeholders' con- 
stitution was rejected; the vote standing for the constitution 
8,013, and against it 8,689. This was a majority of 676 against 
the new constitution. 

The constitution having been rejected, the old form of govern- 
ment remained the same. The campaign meetings that followed 
were very exciting, and the time soon arrived when the " Law 
and Order " party had to take effective measures against the 
Dorrites, to prevent confusion and discord. 

Early in April both parties sent representatives to Washington 
to secure the support or the non-interference of the general gov- 
ernment. President Tyler favored the freeholders' party, but in 
spite of this the suffrage party decided to go ahead. The first 
election under the suffrage constitution was held April 18th, 1842. 
Thomas Dorr, the candidate for governor, received 6,600 votes. 
The election under the old charter was held two days .later, and 
Samuel Ward King was elected by a large majority over Thomas 
F. Carpenter, who headed the democratic ticket. 

On May 3d, those elected under the suffrage constitution or- 
ganized in Providence, at which time Dorr delivered a long mes- 
sage. Welcome B. Sayles was chosen speaker of the house of 
what was termed the " Foundry Legislature." 


The charter, or legal general assembly, met in Newport on the 
4th of May, and called on the president of the United States for 

...assistance. A number of persons— Burlington Anthony, Hezekiah 
Willard and others— were arrested for accepting office under the 

. suffrage constitution, President Tyler announcing by letter in 
the meantime that he would sustain by force, if need be, the 

■ charter government. 

On May 16th, Dorr arrived in Providence and immediately 
issued a proclamation forbidding any more arrests of his ad- 
herents, and on the 17th he ordered out the suffrage militia to 
. assemble in Providence and await orders. Three or four hun- 
*dred men assembled at Dorr's headquarters that night and made 
. a movement against the arsenal, but the project proved a com- 
plete failure. 

On the 18th, about eight hundred law and order troops ap- 

- peared on the streets of Providence, and an effort was made to 
..arrest Dorr, but he fled from the state. Most of the suffrage officers 

now resigned, and on the 8th of June Governor King offered $1,000 
for the arrest and return of Dorr. 

On June 23d Dorr and his friends from various parts of the 
. state established his headquarters at Chepachet. A fort was built 
. and Dorr took command of the forces, numbering some five or 
, six hundred men. Their barricade was thrown up on " Acote's 
Hill." On the 26th Governor King issued a proclamation, and 
■commanded Dorr and his followers to disperse. Three thousand 
troops were gathered together in the city, and the general assem- 
bly declared the state under martial law. Insurgents' houses 
were searched, prisoners taken, and many of the suffrage party, 
not being properly supported, became disgusted and left. 

The government now ordered out the Kentish Guards, from 
Greenwich, to cut off supplies to Dorr sent by the way of Massa- 

■ chusetts. Some skirmishing ensued, in which Alexander Kilby 
was shot and killed, and Robert Roy and David Cutting were 
wounded. Dorr still remained intrenched with his forces on 

•"Acote's Hill." The state forces now surrounded the fort, and 
Dorr, perceiving it would be useless to fight against the over- 
whelming numbers opposing him, escaped from the place, taking 
his body guard with him, and leaving the rest to be taken pris- 

.. oners. 

Dorr himself was arrested, October 31st, 1843, in Providence, 

- where he had gone and boldly entered his name on the register 


•of the City Hotel. Deputy Sheriff Potter arrested him and com- 
mitted him to prison. His trial was begun in April, 1844, at 
Newport. He was sentenced to imprisonment in the state prison 
during his natural life June 25th, 1844, and was liberated June 
27th, 1845. He died December 27th, 1852, and his remains were 
interred in Swan Point Cemetery. 

The Kentish Guards held an important position during a por- 
tion of the " Dorr War," as the exciting times of 1842 were then 
■called. On the afternoon of the day when Mr. Dorr and his fol- 
lowers threatened an attack on the Arsenal on Dexter street, in 
Providence, Governor King sent orders to all the independent 
companies in the state to assemble in Providence as soon as pos- 
sible. The Kentish Guards marched and paraded through the 
•streets during the afternoon and evening, but as their services 
were not required they were dismissed, to their very great satis- 
faction. When the second call for troops was made in June, it 
was very difficult to get the company together. Some of them 
thought there might be danger and they had better keep away, 
and although Colonel Allen made every exertion and performed 
his duty to the utmost, he was unable to fill up the ranks without 
volunteers, although most of those who volunteered were already 
exempt from military duty. When all the arrangements were 
made the company were told to be ready at a minute's warning, 
as Colonel Allen was expecting a call at any moment. At length 
it came, on Sunday afternoon, during the church services. A 
train of cars arrived from Providence, with an urgent request 
from the governor to Colonel Allen to come as soon as possible, 
for the rebels were making a serious demonstration at Pawtucket. 
When the court house bell rang the company assembled and 
were soon on their way to the seat of war. 

The following from the Providence Journal wiW give an idea how 
well the Kentish Guards performed their duty, and how much 
real danger they encountered at Pawtucket. Some of the mem- 
bers were so much injured by the stones and other missiles 
that they were compelled to leave the company and return 

" Having heard and seen several accounts of the encounter at 
Pawtucket, on Monday night, the 27th of June, between the 
military and the self-styled people, which accounts not only es- 
sentially differ, but some of which, it is believed, were designed 
to convey a false impression prejudicial both to the military and 


the well disposed citizens of that village, the following account 
has been carefully drawn up by one who witnessed the whole 
scene, from the entrance of the troops into the village until its 
termination : 

" On Monday afternoon the Kentish Guards, from East Green- 
wich, under the command of Colonel G. W. T. Allen, consisting 
of about fifty men, were ordered to repair to Pawtucket and 
guard the bridge over the Blackstone River at that village. On 
their arrival, multitudes were assembled in the streets, as they 
supposed, to witness a military parade ; but it was soon apparent 
that mere curiosity was not the sole object, as language of the 
most insolent and irritating character was heard, amid the din of 
hisses, shouts and yells, as the troops marched down to the hotel 
on the corner of Main and Mill streets ; all of which failed, how- 
ever, of the intended effect, as the men had positive orders to 
observe the strictest military discipline and decorum, let their 
treatment from the mob be ever so rude. 

"Arrived at the hotel, they were received by the Pawtucket 
and Central Falls volunteers, under the command of Captain 
Potter, and conducted to their quarters in the hall, and im- 
mediately placed a guard at the main entrance to the hotel, with 
the intention of partaking of some refreshments before they took 
command of the pass across the bridge. 

" The officers had scarcely reached the hall before a shout from 
without announced an attack upon the guard at the entrance on 
Mill street ; and on looking out one of the sovereigns was seen 
brandishing a bayonet, which he had wrested from the musket 
of one of the guard, but which was soon recovered, the guard at 
the door strengthened, and a file of men placed across Main 
street, from the old market to the corner of Main and Mill 
streets. To this point as far as could be seen on the Massa- 
chusetts side, the streets and bridge presented one dense jnass of 
human beings, male and female, old and young, even nursing- 
infants with their mothers, and the streets around the hotel were 
fast filling up. 

" The guard maintained their position in the rain, standing at 
' secure arms ' or ' charge bayonet ' for about an hour, while 
the Pawtucket and Central Falls volunteers (twenty-five only of 
whom were armed) organized and loaded their guns from the 
supplies of the Kentish Guards, as they were entirely without 
ammunition, organization or discipline ; when it was deemed 


necessary to strengthen it, and a file of men formed across Main, 
opposite the middle of Mill, at its junction with Main street, 
about ten or twelve paces in the rear of the front line, and an- 
other under the piazza in front of the hotel, in Main street, in 
order to keep their guns dry, in case it became necessary to 
fire on the mob. 

" These preparations for defence, instead of dispersing the 
rioters, only tended to increase. the excitement which had risen 
almost to frenzy, and in a few minutes the guards on every line 
were as closely surrounded as their arms would allow, by friend 
and foe undistinguishable, and as some demonstrations were 
made to disarm them, the front line was now marched into the 
rear line, under cover of that on the side of the hotel and faced 
from the bridge two paces from that facing the bridge. 

" This retrograde movement, however necessary for their own 
safety, had a bad effect, as it proved ; for the mob, thinking that 
it was' a signal of a retreat of the whole force, followed up the 
advantage which the movement gave them, and closed in on all 
sides, so that it was with great difficulty they could be kept 
from rushing between the lines at the short distance between 

" At this juncture the mob east of the bridge receded right 
and left, until they had opened up to the front line, when a horse 
in a carriage, containing two persons in male and one in female 
attire, was driven up to the line, and the driver demanded a pass 
through. The, officer in command asked him to pass round the 
left of his line, in Mill street, but he persisted in his right to pass 
through his ranks, and would have done so, had not the horse 
been seized by the bridle and wheeled off, when he passed up 
Main street a short distance, wheeled round, and drove down 
furiously upon the other line ; again he was frustrated, passed 
around the lines, and disappeared east of the bridge for a few 
minutes, when he returned to the assault ; and as it was now 
evident that he was intent on breaking the lines of the guard, 
the officer in command, ordering his men to stand firm, again 
exhorted him to desist, and pass around, as he had done before ; 
but the mob cheered him on with exclamations of ' Break their 
ranks — run down the cursed Algerines — maintain your rights.' 
At this crisis, finding argument and expostulation unavailing, 
the men were now ordered to rush upon the horse, rather than 
spill the blood of the driver, which so exasperated the horse 


that it was necessary to give orders to fire, which were fol- 
lowed by the discharge of only three or four pieces, owing to 
the wet state of the priming, sufficient, however, to drive him 
from the assault. 

" This fire separated the mob from the guard sufficiently to 
allow the mob to assail them with stones, bricks and bottles of 
glass and stone, weapons, the contents of which had tended, 
probably, to elevate their courage to such a frenzied pitch, and 
four of the guard were carried in wounded. A female among 
the mob fell and was carried off for dead ; but finding that 
neither she nor others were hurt, they concluded that blank 
cartridges had been fired, and now commenced a scene of which 
an actual opening of the bottomless pit alone can convey an 
adequate idea. 

" Every exclamation that could be expected to irritate the men, 
such as ' Where's the man that shot the cow ?' — ' Fire away your 
blank cartridges, you cursed Algerines!' with all the dismal 
bowlings, yells, groans, that human beings ever uttered, arose in 
one universal strain, until all distinguishable sounds were 
drowned in the terrific din ; as soon as Col. Allen could be heard, 
he advanced in front of his lines and ordered the mob to disperse 
at their peril, assuring them that his muskets were loaded with 
ball cartridges, and that however reluctant to shed human blood, 
unless they dispersed, he should give orders to fire ; again the 
air was rent with, ' Fire away your blanked cartridges, you 
cursed Algerines !' and the assault with stones and other missiles 
was renewed. 

" A detachment of men reloaded and primed, now advanced 
to the front, and again they were ordered to disperse with the 
same effect, and unable longer to withstand the assault the men 
were ordered to fire, when some five or six pieces were dis- 
charged, none of which took effect, as, owing to the reluctance 
of the troops to shed blood, they elevated their pieces above the 
mob ; it had the effect, however, to disperse them in some meas- 
ure, as they receded back to about the middle of the bridge, 
where they again made a stand and renewed the assault, and 
were fired upon again, and one, the ringleader, fell dead or mor- 
tally wounded, and the rest receded back upon the Massachusetts 
side, and sought cover behind the buildings, from which they 
would occasionally sallj^ and throw their missiles at the guard, 
who now advanced to the middle of the bridge, which post was 


maintained until the guard was relieved by the arrival of the R. 
I. Carbineers, about two o'clock, Tuesday morning. 

" It is due to the Kentish Guards and Pawtucket and Central 
Falls volunteers, to say, that the lawless insolence was endured 
and forbearance exercised, until their own safety demanded a 
lawful resistance and performance of their military duty ; it was 
fortunate for the cause of humanity that it was dark and rainy, 
for ha,d the weather been dry and the night bright, hundreds of 
lives would in all probability have been sacrificed ; happily, but 
one was killed, and so far as we know, but six or eight wounded 
on both sides ; thus terminated an encounter, which, while it 
quelled the violence of a lawless and desperate mob, failed in 
reaching and bringing to summary justice the cowardly villains 
by whom the comparatively innocent and ignorant dupes of their 
treachery were incited to rebellion. 

" Some of the worthy sovereigns of Pawtucket having indus- 
triously but falsely circulated a report that Colonel Allen detailed 
a body of six men, who passed the Massachusetts line to search 
for men and arms contrary to orders, and that a requisition will 
be made by Governor Davis on their commander-in-chief to have 
them delivered up to the proper authorities of that State for 
trial, the Kentish Guards wish it to be distinctly understood that 
should such requisition be made, it is their desire that it might 
be promptly granted, as they court the strictest scrutiny and in- 
vestigation of their military conduct while stationed at that vil- 
lage, and are as ready to be tried by the laws of which they claim 
protection as they are to support them." 

The Reverend F. Denison thus graphically describes the Dorr 
rebellion : 

"After the war of 1812 no military call passed over the land till 
the remarkable ferment broke out in the state in 1842. This, 
from the name of the instigator of the movement, was denomi- 
nated the Dorr rebellion. Though somewhat serious it was a brief 
affair, in which, on the part of the insurgents, discretion super- 
seded the necessity of valor. The vicinity of the Arsenal, Fed- 
eral Hill, Chepachet and Acote's Hill, where the hero promised to 
' lay his bones,' were the only memorable fields, except the line 
of retreat, halting places of exile, the court house and the state 
prison. To meet the uprising of the party, Washington county 
sent forward 1,100 men, under command of General John B. Sted- 
man of Westerly. 


"Westerly furnished two companies : the regular militia com- 
pany, called the Westerly Light Infantry Company, of about fifty 
men, under Captain James H. Perigo ; and a volunteer company 
of eighty men, under Captain William Potter. These were absent 
from the town, in the vicinity of Providence, only about a week. 
But they were under arms and on guard duty in the town till the 
rebellion collapsed. For a time Westerly was under martial law, 
and her streets were patrolled day and night by armed men. 
The little academy was transformed into a guard-house, and often 
contained prisoners. To suppress the demonstrations of the 
Dorrites, a court of inquiry, under military authority, was opened 
at the hotel on East Broad street. Citizens suspected of treason, 
or known to be abettors of the insurgents, were made to bow to 
General' Stedman's sword. Mr. Joseph Gavitt attempted to resist 
the requisition of the court by arming himself in the chamber of 
his house, but finally yielded to the army of law and order. Dur- 
ing the excitement there was a great abuse of the English lan- 
guage, and not a little loss of good grammar as well as of good 
character. One spunky gun was fired by a woman, but the 
» charge from the piece, like the hot volleys from her lips, went 
into the air. The musket of a sentinel on Union street, in the 
night, somehow took fire, and the ball entered a house, to the 
great alarm of the inmates. But the political tempest soon sub- 
sided here and throughout the state. The ambition of Mr. Dorr 
was cooled behind the bars of the state prison. 

" Fortunately the whole affair, on the side of the disaffected, 
was ah effusion of bad bile rather than of valuable blood. They 
adopted wrong measures to secure a desirable end ; they took 
the path of anarchy in hope of reaching the goal of liberty and 
order — a serious mistake, too often made by the ignorant and 
ambitious. In the end, however, the Dorr rebellion moved the 
' Law and Order Party ' to adopt a new constitution for the state ; 
and the old charter, dating from 1663, was laid aside to be hon- 
ored in our archives. Thus even discontents are made to con- 
tribute to the progress of society." 

The Civil War. — The rebellion against the government of 
the United States assumed positive form by the bombardment of 
Fort Sumter, then occupied by a single company under the com- 
mand of Major Robert Anderson, in April, 1861. On the 15th 
of the same month the president of the United States made a call 
upon the states for seventy-five thousand men, to serve three 


months in suppressing this outbreak, and on the day following, 
in response to this call, an order was issued by Governor Sprague 
for an immediate organization of the First Regiment, and in a 
few days the order was completed. The regiment proceeded to 
Washington in two detachments ; the first under command of 
Colonel Ambrose E. Burnside, leaving Providence April 20th, 
and the second under Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph S. Pitman, on 
the 24th. The quarters of this regiment were established at Camp 
Sprague, Washington. On the 10th of June it marched on an 
expedition toward Harper's Ferry to join other forces under Gen- 
eral Patterson, for the purpose of dislodging the rebels under 
General Joseph E. Johnston, then holding that place. The evacu- 
ation of Harper's Ferry, however, necessitated a return to Wash- 
ington city after the regiment had reached Williamsport, Md. 
The expedition was accompanied by Governor Sprague and his 
aid-de-camp, Colonel John A. Gardiner. The first battle in which 
this regiment participated was on the 21st of July at Bull Run. 
In the perils of this fight Governor Sprague shared, having at- 
tached himself to Burnside's brigade as a volunteer. He was 
present in the thickest of the fight, and had a horse shot under 

The term of service having expired, the regiment broke camp 
July 25th, and reached Providence Sunday morning the 28th, 
bringing the sick and wounded that did not fall into the hands 
of the enemy. The First Regiment Rhode Island Detached 
Militia was commanded by Colonel Ambrose E. Burnside, Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Joseph S. Pitman, 1st Major John S. Slocum, 2d 
Major William Goddard, Surgeon (major) Francis L. Wheaton. 

Under the first call of the president of the United States for 
additional troops to serve three years, or during the war, 
the Second Regiment of Rhode Island volunteers was or- 
ganized. The work of enlistment was spiritedly prosecuted 
Tinder an order from Governor Sprague, Camp Burnside at Provi- 
dence being established, with Major John S. Slocum of the First 
Regiment in command as colonel, and Colonel William Goddard, 
■of the governor's staff, as temporary lieutenant-colonel, who was 
succeeded by General Charles T. Robbins. 

On June 22d, the regiment, accompanied by Governor Sprague, 
proceeded to Washington. The history of this regiment may be 
found in the history of the battles of First Bull Run, Yorktown, 
Williamsburg, Malvern Hill, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Marye's 


Heights, Salem Heights, Gettysburg, Rappahannock Station, 
Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Fort Stevens 
and Opequan. The names of these battles, under general orders 
from the war department, by order of General Meade, March 7th, 
1865, were inscribed upon its colors. The regiment was mustered 
out of the service at Hall's Hill, Va., July 13th, 1865. 

The Fourth Regiment, Rhode Island volunteers, was organized 
in September, 1861, and in October placed in command of Colonel 
Isaac P. Rodman. Included among the troops selected for the 
North Carolina campaign under General Burnside, it made part 
of the Third brigade of the coast division. They were engaged 
at Roanoke island, where they were gallantly led, and later dis- 
tinguished themselves in the capture of Newbern. When Burn- 
side was ordered from North Carolina to the support of McClel- 
lan in the peninsula, the Fourth Rhode Island moved with his 
command. They were hotly engaged at South Mountain and 
Antietam. In this last bloody affair their commander. Colonel 
Steere, was badly wounded, and their old commander. General 
Rodman, killed. In November they lost their lieutenant-colonel, 
Joseph B. Curtis, killed while forming line before Fredericksburg. 
In July the regiment was transferred to the Seventh corps, but 
rejoined the Ninth before Petersburg in 1864, and took part in 
the assault on the rebel lines. It was permitted to inscribe on 
its colors the names : " Roanoke Island, Newbern, Fort Macon, 
South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Suffolk, Weldon Rail- 
road, Poplar Spring Church, Hatcher's Run." 

The Seventh Regiment, Rhode Island volunteers, was called 
to serve during the war. The general order was issued May 
22d, 1862. Camp Bliss was established in South Providence for 
drill. Welcome B. Sayles began the work of enlisting soldiers. 
The regiment was raised, and on September 10th it broke camp, 
and under the command of Colonel Zenas R. Bliss, proceeded to 
Washington. It was mustered out of service June 9th, 1865. By 
general orders the names of the following battles in which the 
regiment had borne a meritorious part were directed to be in- 
scribed on its colors : " Fredericksburg, Siege of Vicksburg, 
Jackson, Spottsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, 
Weldon Railroad, Poplar Spring Church, Hatcher's Run." 

The Ninth Regiment, Rhode Island volunteers, was organized 
by Colonel Charles T. Robbins, It was a three months' regiment. 
In 1862 the rebel general, Thomas J. Jackson, familiarly known 


as Stonewall Jackson, with a large body of men, made a sudden 
raid up the valley of the Shenandoah, and threatened the safety 
of Washington. In view of actual and possible needs, the sec- 
retary of war sent on the 25th of ^May a telegram to the governor 
of Rhode Island for the immediate forwarding to the national 
capital of all the available troops in the state to serve in the de- 
fenses for a period of three months. This telegram was received 
by Governor Sprague at midnight, and before sunrise measures 
had been taken to comply with the call, and in two days from 
that time the Lonsdale National Guards, the Natic National 
Guards, the Westerly National Guards, and the Pawtucket Bat- 
talion, four full companies, reported for diity, and left Providence 
May 27th for Washington. The regiment first spent a month 
in drill, and then crossed the Potomac. It relieved the Ninety- 
ninth Pennsylvania volunteers, who joined the army of General 
McClellan, in the peninsula. At the expiration of the time of 
enlistment the regiment returned to Providence. 

The Twelfth Regiment, Rhode Island volunteers, was under 
the command of Honorable George H. Browne, his commission 
as colonel bearing date September 18th, 1862, the regiment being 
mustered into service October 13th. The regiment moved to 
Washington, where it took quarters at Camp Chase. The regi- 
ment was in the hottest part of the fight at Fredericksburg, 
where it lost one hundred and nine men, killed and wounded. 
On January 9th, 1863, it accompanied the Ninth Army Corps to 
the Peninsula, but soon after became the Twelfth, under General 
Burnside, and its operations were changed to points in Kentucky 
and Tennessee and other places, under his command, until July 
19th, 1863, it was mustered out of service. During the term of 
nine months it travelled 3,500 miles, 500 of which were on foot. 

The soldiers in the late war from Washington and Kent coun- 
ties mostly enlisted in the regiments named above, but there 
were besides others represented in every regiment that went 
from Rhode Island. The history of these two counties in that 
dreadful conflict would be that of the state, but for the scattering 
list represented by each of the towns, we refer our readers to the 
adjutant-general's report of 1865, where they will also find many 
names in the various artillery and cavalry companies not included 
in the statement made above. 

For this war Washington county furnished 2,717 men, and 
Kent county 2,139. 



History of the Courts.— List of Rhode Island Governors from Washington and 
Kent Counties. — The Attorneys-General. — Bar Compact. — Daniel Updike. — 
Lodovvick Updike.— Wilkins Updike.— Samuel Ward.— Harry Babcock.— 
James Mitchell Varnum. — Stephen Arnold. — Richard Ward Greene.^ 
Rouse T. Helme. — Archibald Campbell. — Jacob Campbell. — Benjamin Thur- 
ston.— Joseph L. Tillinghast.— Nathan F. Dixon —John H. Cross.— Elisha E. 
Potter, Sr.— Elisha R. Potter.— Judge Dutee Arnold.— Sylvester Gardiner 
Shearman. — George A. Brayton. — Albert Collins Greene. — Nathan Whiting. — 
William G. Bowen. — Joseph Windsor. — William E. Peck. — John Hall. — 
David S. Baker, Jr. — William C. Baker. — Elisha C. Clark. — Henry Howard. 
— E. H. Hazard. — Henry B. Anthony. — Thomas H. Peabody. — Charles 
Perrin. ^Albert B. Crafts. — Albert B. Burdick. — Henry Whipple. — Eugene 
F. Warner. — Nathan B. Lewis. — Samuel W. K. Allen. — Benjamin W. Case. 
— Charles J. Arms. 

THE people of Rhode Island seem at first to have transacted 
their judicial as well as their other public business in town 
meeting. They agreed to be governed by " the major 
consent " of the freemen of the town " only in civil things." 
While the commonwealth remained an uncontentious society 
this system was good enough. 

In 1640 provisions for compulsory arbitrations were adopted. 
The Portsmouth settlers, following Judaic example, chose a judge 
to exercise authority among them, the people agreeing to submit 
their persons, lives and estates " unto our Lord Jesus Christ, the 
king of kings and Lord of Lords, and to all those perfect and 
most absolute laws of His, given in His Holy Word of Truth, to 
be guided and judged thereby." Before the year was out three 
elders were associated with the judge to assist him in drawing 
up such rules and laws as should be " according to God," etc. 
The elders were afterward increased to seven, but the town meet- 
ing remained the supreme court of the land. 

At Newport the governor and assistants were made justices of 
the peace cx-officio. Courts consisting of magistrates and jurors 
were ordained to be held every quarter at Newport and Ports- 


mouth alternately, with power to judge all cases and actions that 
should be presented. In 1647 the first charter went into effect, 
and the mainland was united with the island towns at this time. 
Under the new system the chief officers of the government were 
a president and four assistants, one from each town. To them 
was committed the duty of holding twice yearly the general court 
of trials for the whole colony ; a court which was the predecessor 
of the present supreme court of the state. This court, when first 
established, had jurisdiction of the higher class of crimes, of cases 
between town and town, of cases between parties living in dif- 
ferent towns, etc., etc. 

The other tribunals were the town or local courts, with ap- 
pellate jurisdiction over them. In 1663 the royal charter of 
Charles II. was received. This charter provided for the election 
of a governor, a deputy governor, ten assistants and a body of 
deputies. This body possessed full governmental powers. The 
function of the deputies were purely legislative. This charter 
empowered the general assembly to create judicial tribunals. 
At its first session, accordingly, it was provided that the governor 
or deputy governor, with at least six assistants, should hold the 
general court of trials at Newport every year, in May and Oc- 
tober, but the terms were soon after changed to March and Sep- 
tember. There was also provided a special court for Providence 
and Warwick. 

In 1729 the next change occurred. The colony then was di- 
vided into three counties : Newport, Providence and Kings. A 
criminal and a civil court for each county were established. The 
criminal courts were denominated courts of general sessions of 
the peace, and' were held twice a year in each county by the jus- 
tices of the peace of the county, five of them being a quorum. 
The civil courts, called courts of common pleas, were held by 
" four judicious and skillful persons " chosen by the general as- 
sembly from the counties in which they were to act, and com- 
missioned by the governor to hold their offices Qiiamdiu se bene 
gesserit. This court held its sessions twice a j-ear in each coun- 
ty. The higher court, which now received the name of " Super- 
ior Court of Judicature, Court of Assize and General Gaol De- 
livery." continued to be held exclusively at Newport. In 1747, 
in lieu of the governor or deputy-governor and the ten assistants, 
there were to be five judges and four associates, three being a 


quorum. They were to be chosen annually by the general as- 

In 1780, the legislative and judicial powers to be united in the 
same person was declared incompatible with the constitution, and 
thereafter no member of either house of the assembly was al- 
lowed to fill the office of a justice of a supreme court. In 1798 
the name of the court was changed to " The Supreme Judicial 
Court," which it retained down to the adoption of the Constitu- 
tion in 1843, when, dropping " Judicial," it became the " Supreme 

In 1875 the number of the judges, which had been four since 
1843, was increased to five. 

May 27th, 1886, the district courts were established, Washing- 
ton county being divided into two, and Kent county being made 
one -distri<;t. 

The town councils of the several towns were from the first 
courts of probate of wills, not to the town councils, but to the 
head officers of the town. The Code devolves the duty upon the 
town council, of property owners dying intestate to make 
wills, etc. 

Governors. — Inasmuch as the governors of the state formed 
such an important element in the judicial history, we here insert 
the names of those from Washington and Kent counties, it being a 
record that should be preserved : John Smith, of Warwick, May, 
1649, to May, 1650; Samuel Gorton, of Warwick, October, 1651,, 
to May, 1652 ; John Smith, of Warwick, May, 1652, to May, 1653 ;. 
William Greene, of Warwick, May, 1743, to May, 1745 ; from 
May, 1746, to May, 1747 ; from May, 1748, to May, 1755, and from 
May, 1757, to February, 1758, when he died in office ; Samuel 
Ward, of Westerly, from May, 1762, to May, 1763, and from 
May, 1765, to May, 1767; William Greene, of Warwick, May, 
1778, to 1786 ; John Brown Francis, of Warwick, from 1833 to- 
1838 ; William Sprague, of Warwick, from 1838 to 1839 ; Elisha 
Harris, of Coventry, 1847 to 1849 ; Henry Howard, of Coventry, 
1873 to 1875; John W. Davis, of Pawtucket, 1887; William 
Sprague, now of South Kingstown, but then of Providence, was. 
elected governor in 1860, and held the position to March 3d, 
1863, when he resigned to accept the office of United States, 

Deputy-Governors.— John Greene, of Warwick, 1690- to 1700; 
Thomas Frye, of East Greenwich, 1727 to 1729 ; George Hassard, 


of South Kingstown, 1734 to 1738 ; William Greene, of Warwick, 
1740 to 1743 ; William Robinson, of South Kingstown, 1745 to 
1746, and from 1747 to 1748 ; Robert Hazard, of South Kings- 
town, 1750 to 1751 ; Samuel J. Potter, of South Kingstown, 1790 
to 1799. 

Lieutenant-Governors.— Samuel J. Potter, of South Kings- 
town, February to May, 1799, 1800 to 1803 ; George Brown, of 
South Kingstown, 1799 to 1800 ; Benjamin Thurston, of Hopkin- 
ton, 1816 to 1817 ; Edward Wilcox, of Charlestown, 1817 to 1821 ■, 
Jeffrey Hazard, of Exeter, 1833 to 1835, and from 1836 to 1837 ;, 
Benjamin B. Thurston, of Hopkinton, 1837 to 1838 ; Elisha Har- 
ris, of Coventry, 1846 to 1847 ; Thomas Whipple, of Coventry ,^ 
1849 to 1851 ; John J. Reynolds, of North Kingstown, 1854 to 
1855; Nicholas Brown, of Warwick, 1856 to 1857; William 
Greene, of Warwick, 1866 to 1868. 

The first charter for the colony of Rhode Island was obtained 
by Roger Williams in 1643-4. The people were obstructed, 
however, in erecting a government under it until 1647. In 1650 
the legislature first created the ofl&ce of attorney-general and of 
solicitor-general of the colony, and the people by general ticket 
elected in May of that year, William Dyre to the first office and 
Hugh Burt to the second. This same year William Coddington 
embarked for England and in 1651 obtained a charter for Rhode 
Island proper, and the islands in the Narragansett bay. New- 
port and Portsmouth submitted to this government ; Providence 
and Warwick continued under the old charter. The repeal of 
Coddington's charter was obtained through John Clarke and 
Roger Williams in that same year, but in consequence no attor- 
ney and solicitor-general were elected in 1651-2. 

The offices of attorney and solicitor continued till 1741, when 
the act appointing one attorney-general for the colony was re- 
pealed and an act passed appointing attorneys for counties, Dan- 
iel Updike being appointed attorney for the county of Kings. 
The act of 1741 was repealed, however, and the act appointing 
one attorney-general for the colony revived in 1743. The fol- 
lowing is a list of the attorneys-general who have been elected 
from the counties of Washington and Kent: John Greene, Jr., 
of Warwick, May 19th, 1657, to May 22d, 1660 ; Edmund Calver- 
ly, of Warwick, 1681 to 1682 ; John Smith, of Warwick, 1696 to 
1698 ; John Rhodes, of Warwick, 1700 to 1701 ; Simon Smith, of 


Warwick, 1706 to 1712 ; Daniel Updike, of North Kingstown, 
1722 to 1732. 

In December, 1740, the act providing for the election of an at- 
torney-general was repealed, and a king's attorney directed to be 
chosen for each county. Daniel Updike, of North Kingstown 
was appointed for King's county and served from 1741 to 1743. 

In September, 1742, the act was repealed, and provision made 
for the election of one attorney-general only. Daniel Updike 
served from 1743 to 1748 ; Daniel Updike served from 1790 to 
1791, and Albert C. Greene, of East Greenwich, from 1825 to 1843. 
Under the constitution adopted in 1842, there were no attor- 
neys elected from either county. Ira O. Seamans, of Warwick, 
became assistant attorney-general March 19th, 1874, and held the 
office to March 19th, 1877. 

In 1745 the profession held their first bar meeting in this col- 
ony. At that meeting the lawyers agreed to some rules " to be 
strictly kept up by us upon honor." 

" I. No cause at any inferior court where an answer is filed 
shall be undertaken under forty shillings for a fee or more. 

" II. No answer shall be filed under a forty shilling fee, besides 
the payment of the charge of copies. 

" III. No case to be pleaded at any superior court under a three 
pound fee. 

" IV. No writ or review to be brought under a four pound fee, 
and the same if for the defendant. 

"V. In the foregoing cases no man to be trusted without his 
note, saving a standing client for whom considerable business is 

" VI. No attorney to sign blank writs and disperse them about 
the colony, which practice it is conceived would make the law 
cheap and hurt the business without profiting any one whatever. 
"VII. No attorney shall take up any suit against a practitioner 
except three or more brethren shall determine the demand 
reasonable, and then if he will not do justice the whole fraternity 
shall rise up against him. 

"VIII. If any dispute should arise among the brethren about 
endorsement of writs, for securing costs, it shall not be deemed 
a breach of unity if one attorney takes out a writ against another 
for his costs. And in case any attorney shall become bail he is 
to expect no favor. 

" IX. No attorney to advance money to pay entry and jury in 


cases disputed except for a standing, responsible client that hap- 
pens to be out of the way. 
" At September Term, 1745. 

" Daniel Updike, 
"James HoNEYMAN, Jr., 
" John Alpin, 
" John Walton, 
" Mathew Robinson, 
" David Richards, Jr., 
"Thomas Ward, 
" John Andrews." 
Daniel Updike was a son of Gilbert Updike, who married a 
daughter of Richard Smith, Sen., the first settler of North Kings- 
town. Gilbert Updike was a German physician of considerable 
celebrity. In 1664, he and his three brothers, Richard, Daniel 
and James, emigrated to the colony of Rhode Island. Richard 
Updike was killed in the great swamp fight of 1675, and Daniel 
and James dangerously wounded. James afterward died of 
apoplexy. Daniel, on a voyage to Europe, was captured by the 
Algerines and ransomed by Major Richard Smith, Jr., with fif- 
teen hundred gun locks. The sons of Gilbert were Lodowick, 
Daniel and James. Lodowick married Catharine, the daughter 
of Thomas Newton, and died in 1737, leaving Daniel and five 
daughters. Daniel, son of Lodowick, was educated in his father's 
house by an able French instructor in the Greek, Latin and 
French languages, and his sisters in the Latin and French. After 
Daniel was educated he visited Barbadoes in company with a 
friend of his father's, and was admitted to the first circles of so- 
ciety on the island. Upon his return he applied himself to the 
study of the law, and after his admission opened an office in New- 
port. In 1722, Henry Bull, Esq., having been elected attorney- 
general, and declining the office, Mr. Updike was elected to fill 
the vacancy. He was annually re-elected until May, 1732, when 
he declined, having been nominated for governor of the colony 
in opposition to Governor William Wanton. In 1723 he was ap- 
pointed by the general assembly as the state's counsel to attend 
the trial of the thirty-six pirates captured by Captain Solgar, com- 
mander of his majesty's " Greyhound." Twenty-six of the pirates 
were executed at Newport in Jitly of that year. Mr. Updike was 
much engaged in the angry controversy between the colonies 
respecting the boundary lines of Connecticut and Rhode Island, 


and was actively interested in matters pertaining to legislation, 
having been appointed by the general assembly on various occa- 
sions on important work. In 1742 he was re-elected for King's 
county, and was also elected one of the committee to revise the 
laws. In May, 1743, he was elected attorney-general, and was 
sustained by annual re-elections by the people until the year 
1758. Mr. Updike in person was about five feet ten inches in 
height, with prominent features. As an advocate he sustained 
a high reputation. He had a clear, full musical voice. Dr. Brad- 
ford iised to speak of him as being a " fine speaker with great 
pathos and piercing irony." 

Lodowick Updike, son of Daniel, was born July 12th, 1725. 
He was educated under private tutors in conformity with the 
practice of that age. His last instructor was the Reverend John 
Checkley, rector of the church at Providence, an Oxford scholar 
and a learned divine. Mr. Updike studied law for the bar, but 
never practiced. He inherited a large estate and resided there 
until his death, June 6th, 1804. His wife was Abigail Gardiner, 
daughter of William Gardiner of Boston Neck, and niece of Doc- 
tor McSparran. His children were Daniel, James, Austin, Mary, 
Abigail, Sarah, Lydia, Lodowick, Alfred, Gilbert and Wilkins. 

Wilkins Updike, the noted lawyer of Rhode Island, was the 
youngest son of Lodowick Updike, and was born at North Kings- 
town, January 8th, 1784. The homestead where Wilkins Updike 
was born belonged to the family from the first settlement. Be- 
sides advantages mentioned before in the houses of the Updikes, 
Wilkins was sent at the proper age to the academy in Plainfield, 
Connecticut. The late Elisha R. Potter received his education 
at that place. After leaving the academy he studied law in the 
office of Honorable James Lanman, subsequently senator in con- 
gress from Connecticut, and afterward in Newport in the office 
of Honorable Asher Robbins and in the office of Elisha Potter in 
Little Rest. He was admitted to the practice of the law in 1808. 
The amount of litigation in Washington and Kent counties was 
very great at that time. Of this Mr. Updike soon began to obtain 
a portion, and in the end enjoyed a harvest of the legal profes- 
sion. Mr. Updike married, September 23d, 1809, Abby, daughter 
of Walter Watson, Esq., of South Kingstown. She died many 
years before him, leaving several children : Thomas B. Updike, 
of Manchester, Pa.; Honorable Caesar A. Updike, speaker of the 
house of representatives of Rhode Island at one time ; Walter 


Updike, attorney-at-law, deceased ; Mrs. R. K. Randolph, Mrs. 
Samuel Rodman, Mrs. H. A. Hidden, Mrs. John F. Greene, Mrs. 
John Eddy and Miss Artis T. Updike. After marriage Mr. Up- 
dike resided^ for a while at Tower Hill, South Kingstown, and 
then came to Kingston, then called Little Rest. He was occupied 
by his profession and politics for many years, and was for many 
successive terms a member of the legislature. While in the 
legislature his efforts to aid Mr. Barnard in establishing a good 
system of common schools will be remembered by many ; and he 
also took an active part in supporting the measures for abolish- 
ing the old restrictions upon the rights of married women. His 
wit and peculiar style of eloquence always gave him a great in- 
fluence in the general assembly. Mr. Updike left some memorials 
behind him which will long be remembered. In 1842 he pub- 
lished in an octavo volume his " Memoirs of the Rhode Island 
Bar." Many of these sketches are exceedingly interesting. He next 
began the collection of material for the history of the Episcopal 
•church. This work led eventually to the publication of his 
"History of the Episcopal Church in Narragansett, R. I.," in 1847. 
It is an octavo volume of 533 pages of most valuable matter. It 
is now out of print. Mr. Updike died at Kingston January 14th, 
1867. The funeral was performed on Thursday following by 
Reverend Mr. Crane of East Greenwich. 

Samuel Ward, of Westerly, was born in Newport May 27th, 1725. 
He was reared as a farmer, but removed to Westerly, where he 
retained his abode until his death. He was a member of the 
house of representatives from 1756 to 1759 ; was chief justice of 
Rhode Island in 1761 ; was elected governor of Rhode Island in 
1762, in 1765, and again in 1767. He was one of the founders of 
Rhode Island College, now Brown University. He was a zealous 
patriot, and was elected to the first continental congress in 
1774_75. He died of small-pox in Philadelphia, March 27th, 


Colonel Harry Babcock, son of Doctor Joshua Babcock, of 
Westerly, was born in 1736. He entered college at twelve years 
■of age, and took his degree at sixteen at the head of his class. 
At the age of eighteen he obtained from the legislature of this 
state a charter for an independent company of infantry and was 
-appointed captain. At the age of nineteen he was appointed 
captain of a company in the regiment raised by this colony and 
marched to Albany, from thence to Lake George, and joined the 


army in the campaign of 1756, to dislodge the French from Can- 
ada. Sir William Johnson, commander-in-chief, detached four 
hundred men under Colonel Williams to reconnoitre. Captain 
Babcock, with sixty men, constituted a part of the corps. They 
were attacked by the enemy commanded by Baron Dieskau, and 
defeated. Colonel Williams and Captain Babcock had nineteen 
men killed and wounded. Baron Dieskau was taken prisoner. 
The next year Captain Babcock was promoted major ; at twenty- 
one years of age he was promoted lieutenant-colonel ; at twenty- 
two he commanded the Rhode Island regiment, consisting of 
one thousand men ; and in July, 1758, he marched five hundred 
of his men with the British army against Ticonderoga. He had 
one hundred and ten men killed and wounded and was wounded 
himself by a musket ball in the knee. He also assisted in other 
campaigns, and in all served five years in the Old French wars 
with great reputation. About the age of twenty-five Colonel 
Babcock spent a year in England, chiefly in London, where he 
was treated with as great respect by the nobility and gentry as 
any other American of his time. Soon after his return he mar- 
ried and settled in Stonington, in Connecticut, and commenced 
the practice of the law. When the revolution commenced he 
was a staunch whig, and 1^776 he was appointed by the legis- 
lature commander of the forces at Newport. While commander 
at this time he had one opportunity to display his courage. On 
the open beach, with an eighteen pounder, he drove off the 
British man-of-war " Rose " by his own firing. He had practiced 
as an engineer at Woolwich, when in England. He was so 
severely affected by a spell of sickness in the winter following 
that he never entirely recovered. He was a man of fine person, 
accomplished manners, commanding voice and an eloquent 
speaker. The family mansion stood on the old country road one 
mile east of Pawcatuck village in Westerly. 

James Mitchell Varnum was born in Dracut, Mass., in 1749. 
He graduated in 1769, at the age of twenty, from Rhode Island 
College, then located in Warren. He was in the first class that 
graduated from that institution. Soon after his college course he 
entered the office of Oliver Arnold, in Providence, then attorney 
general of the colony. He settled in East Greenwich, where his 
talents acquired for him an extensive practice and from his 
travels through the circuits of the state he reaped many honors 
of his profession. Mr. Varnum had a great taste for military 


life, and early joined the Kentish Guards, and in 1774 was ap- 
pointed commander of that company, which from superior ac- 
quirements in military tactics became the nursery of many dis- 
tinguished officers during the revolutionary war. General 
Greene, General Varnum, Colonel Greene, Colonel Crary, Colonel 
Whitmarsh, Major Dexter, Captain Arnold and others, making 
thirty-two in all, entered the patriot army as commissioned offi- 
cers from this company. The state raised two regiments for the 
war of the revolution for the year 1776. Colonel Varnum com- 
manded the first and Hitchcock the second. Varnum was short- 
ly afterward raised to the command of a brigade, and the legis- 
lature of the state in May, 1779, in consideration of his national 
services, elected him. major-general of the militia, to which office 
he was unanimously re-elected during the remainder of his life. 
In 1780 he was elected to congress. In 1787 he was appointed 
with Samuel Parsons judge of the Northwestern territory. 

In the spring of 1788, he left his native state and took up his 
abode in Marietta, Ohio, the seat of government, but in 1789 ill- 
health compelled him to cease labors, and in the month of March, 
1789, he passed away, his death taking place at Campus Martius, 
a stockade built by the first settlers under Putnam. The career 
of General Varnum was active and brief. He graduated at 
twenty, was admitted to the bar at twenty-two, resigned his com- 
mission at thirty-two, was a member of congress the same year, 
resumed his practice at thirty-three, continued his practice four 
years, was elected to congress again at thirty-seven, emigrated to 
the west at thirty-nine, and died at the early age of forty. 

From the memoirs of Elkanah Watson we give the following, 
as descriptive of Mr. Varnum's eloquence as a speaker : " James 
Mitchell Varnum was appointed a brigadier-general in the Rhode 
Island line at an early period of the revolution. He resided in 
East Greenwich, and was one of the most eminent lawyers, and 
distinguished orators in the colonies. I first saw this learned 
and amiable man in 1774, when I heard him deliver a Masonic 
oration. Until that moment I had formed no conception of the 
power and charms of oratory. I was so deeply impressed, that 
the effect of his splendid exhibition has remained for forty-eight 
years indelibly fixed on my mind. I then compared his mind to 
a beautiful paterre, from which he was enabled to pluck the most 
gorgeous and fanciful flowers in his progress, to enrich and em- 
bellish his subject. 


" He marched into Providence, with his company on the even- 
ing of the 20th of April, on his way to Lexington. General Na- 
thaniel Greene marched into Providence with General Varnum 
on that occasion, although it was as a private, and while he still 
held his connection with the Quaker Society, Greene and Var- 
num were soon after appointed brigadiers and attached to the 
army besieging Boston. Varnum continued some years in the 
army, and saw some service ; he was a good disciplinarian, and 
invaluable in council. He held an excellent pen, commanding a 
rich flow of language and eloquence, embellished by all the or- 
naments and graces of rhetoric. 

" While in command at Taunton, he addressed an admirable 
letter to the commanding officer of the Hessians, on Rhode Is- 
land, and sent it in by a flag of truce. The letter was a tran- 
script of his views of the great controversy with England, and 
was considered an able argument on the subject. It was subse- 
quently published in England, and reflected very much credit on 
the author. At the close of his military career, he resumed his 
professional attitude, and often came into conflict with Henry 
Goodwin, his great rival in eloquence, but of a totally distinct 
school. While Varnum's oratory was mild and conciliatory, and 
flowing in majestic and persuasive eloquence, Goodwin's was 
wrapt in fire and energy, mingled with the most burning 

" In the year 1785, General Varnum formed the project of es- 
tablishing a colony on the north branch of the Ohio river, and 
erecting a city at the mouth of the Muskingum. He urged me 
to unite with him in the adventure. He carried out his design 
and founded Marietta, which he named in honor of the queen of 

Judge Stephen Arnold, of Warwick, was a descendant of the 
Pawtuxet Arnolds and born September 3d, 1732. He was the 
son of Philip, the son of Stephen, grandson of Stephen, and 
great-grandson of William, the first of the family in this state. 
Judge Arnold was married several times. One of his daughters, 
Elizabeth, married Christopher A. Whitman, of Coventry, who 
was for some years president of the Coventry Bank. He fell 
dead in the road in Centreville, May 19th, 1816, in the 84th year 
of his age. His son Benedict dropped dead from his horse while 
riding to Apponaug, and his eldest son dropped from his chair 
and expired just after he had eaten a hearty dinner. Judge 


Stephen Arnold was the person who was charged by the people 
of East Greenwich with propagating principles unfriendly to 
American liberty, though it hardly appears he was guilty. He 
was at that time judge of the common pleas court, and denounced 
some of the leaders with much asperity. An account of this con- 
troversy is given in Chapter V. Judge Arnold was a tall, slim 
man, active in his habits, social and somewhat eccentric. 

Richard Ward Greene, of Warwick, chief justice, was one of 
the honored names of the state. He was the son of Christopher 
and Deborah (Ward) Greene, and was born early in 1792, and 
died in the eighty-fourth year of his age. His mother was a 
daughter of Governor Samuel Ward. He was educated at Brown 
University, and at the time of his death was one of its trustees. 
He studied law at Litchfield Law School, an institution which 
graduated many eminent lawyers of the American bar. Judge 
Greene was stately and dignified, straight as an arrow, and was 
over six feet in height. 

Rouse J. Helme. — The family of Helme were among the first 
settlers of Narragansett. Mr. James Helme of South Kingstown 
and Esther Powell of North Kingstown were married October 
19th, 1738. They took up their residence at Tower Hill, and for 
many years Mr. Helme kept a large retail store there. In 1767 
he was elected by the legislature chief justice of the supreme 
court of the state, and was re-elected as chief or associate justice 
until 1775. He died in 1777, and was interred in the burial 
ground on Tower Hill. His wife was the granddaughter of 
Gabriel Bernon, the Protestant Huguenot, and daiighter of Adam 
Powell and Hester Powell, who before marriage was Hester Ber- 
non. Rouse J. Helme, his son, was born at Tower Hill in 1744. 
He received a competent education, and became proficient in 
the learned languages. He early displayed a predilection for the 
study of the law, and became a distinguished citizen of the state. 
He took a course of study under Mathew Robinson, a learned 
lawyer, and subsequently opened an office at the village of Kings- 
ton, in his native town, where he soon obtained a large share of 
practice. He early embarked in politics, and was elected to many 
ofiices of honor and responsibility. He was a member of the 
council of war during the revolution, deputy secretary and a mem- 
ber of the general assembly for many years. In the legislature 
Mr. Helme boldly opposed the paper money system of 1786, and 
on the ascendency of that party, in the succeeding year, he was 


superseded as a representative, but he manifested great ability 
as a lawyer and as a statesman, and was subsequently re-elected. 
In 1788 he was returned a member of the legislature from New 
Shoreham under a law passed during the revolution authorizing 
that town, being an island, to choose its representatives among 
other towns, and he continued to represent that town for many 
years. He died in the meridian of his life, October 13th, 1789, 
aged 46. 

Archibald Campbell commenced the practice of law in Kent 
county, settling in East Greenwich about the year 1750. But little 
is known of Mr. Campbell prior to this time. He continued his 
profession in East Greenwich until his death, in 1769. On his 
monument in the Baptist cemetery of his village is the following 

inscription : 

" In Memory of 
Son of Archibald, and Grandson of the 
Rev. Daniel Campbell, and nephew of the Rev. John Campbell, 
Late President of the 
College of Glasgow, 
who departed this life October 16th, 1769, 
in the 
41st year of His Age. 
Viator ecce patria oolumen 
Juris pressium benignum genitorum 
Et indulgentissimus maritum." 
[Englished thus : 
Traveler, behold the patriot, the lawyer. 
The kind father, and the most indulgent husband.] 

Mr. Campbell had a large practice and he was a popular lawyer, 
greatly esteemed by the public. He was elected to the general 
assembly from East Greenwich in 1768, and was a valuable mem- 
ber of the legislature on various important committees, and was 
re-elected just prior to his death. He left one son, Jacob Camp- 
bell, and three daughters. 

Jacob Campbell, son of Archibald Campbell,Esq.,wasborn in East 
Greenwich in 1760, and graduated from Rhode Island College (now 
Brown University) in September, 1783. After graduation h6 be- 
came a preceptor in a classical school in East Greenwich for a short 
period, and then entered the office of General Varnum as a stu- 
dent of law. ]\Ir. Campbell devoted many of his leisure hours to 
classic literature and poetry. His temperament was nervous, and 
he was very unfortunate, for he became often dejected, and with 
a mind so sensitive he was borne down with fancied injuries and 


neglect. He did not enjoy a rich field for practice in the legal 
profession and frequently indulged in his innate taste for the 
muses. He published a small volume entitled " Poetical Essays," 
and some of these selections found their wa-j into the well-known 
school book "The Speaker." He was also the author of a num- 
ber of essays in prose. Doctor Greene, speaking of Mr. Campbell 
in his valuable history of East Greenwich, says : 

" When relieved from the influence of his accustomed melan- 
choly, Campbell enraptured every circle with the sprightliness of 
his fancy and the fascination of his genius. His conversation 
was rich, his language vivid, his style lofty, accompanied by a 
captivating sweetness that went directly to the heart ; but when 
mentally depressed, he was silent and retiring, or disposed to 
pour into the bosom of some intimate friend the murmurings of 
his fancied griefs. 

" During his residence he became attached to Miss Eliza Rus- 
sell, daughter of Joseph Russell. Their love, growing out of a 
long friendship, was mutual. He was of a feeble constitution, 
and was inclined to consumption. During his lingering illness 
she was constantly with him, and with her own hand ministered 
to the object of her plighted love, and her delicate attentions 
and watchfulness were unceasing. His sickness was dubious 
and flattering for a long period, and she continued her affection- 
ate efforts for his restoration with unremitted devotion, some- 
times hoping for the joys of a speedy recovery, at others despair- 
ing of a hopeful termination. If she could not arrest disease, 
she could relieve its pains, and with a holy affection smooth the 
pillow of death, pluck out its thorns, and deal out the consola- 
tions of the gospel. After his death and funeral she retired to 
her room, and darkening it to her feelings, admitted only a few 
select friends, and particularly those who could discourse of kirn, 
and like /ler of o/d, refusing to be comforted, she remained there 
until her death. A lady of East Greenwich, who had been inti- 
mate with them both, called to see her, and was admitted to her 
chamber with scarcely light enough to distinguish an object. 
Her whole conversation was of the sickness, suffering and death 
of Jacob Campbell. She was waiting, with patient resignation, 
the arrival of the wished for hour, when she should join him in 
heaven. She caused a very handsome tombstone, as the last 
tribute of affection, to be erected at his grave in the old Baptist 


cemetery in East Greenwich, next to his father's, with this in- 
scription : 

In Memory of 


Son of Archibald Campbell, 


Who departed this life March 5th, 1788, in the 

38th year of his age. 
" ' Oh faithful memory may thy lamp illume, 

The sacred sepuohre with radiance clear. 
Soft plighted love shall rest upon his tomb. 
And friendship o'er it shed the fragrant tear.' 
" The suicidical course adopted by this devoted woman upon 
this eventful occasion should not be allowed to pass without re- 
proof. The dispensations of Heaven, however severe, are to be 
met and borne with Christian resignation. The infliction of self- 
injury or immolation, proceeds upon a principle of retaliation or 
revenge utterly at variance with every feature of the Christian 
character, and must impress the conviction that its doctrines 
have been defectively inculcated or grossly misunderstood. That 
she should have bitterly wept to be bereaved of the object of her 
tenderest affections ; that her wounded heart should have heaved 
with the deepest emotions upon their earthly separation, is what 
all would expect, and in which all would sympathize. But to in- 
carcerate her person, and prematurely terminate her existence, 
because the Deity, in his visitations, had disappointed her hopes, 
all must equally condemn." 

Joseph L. Tillinghast, of East Greenwich, was at one time 
principal of Kent Academy. He was born in Taunton, Mass., in 
1791, and early in life moved to Rhode Island. He was gradu- 
ated at Brown University in 1809, and after his career as teacher 
and principal, he studied law and devoted himself to its practice 
in Providence with marked success for thirty years. In 1833 he 
was elected a member of the board of trustees of Brown Univer- 
sity, and from 1837 to 1843 he was a member of congress. He 
was for many years a member of the state legislature, and was 
elected speaker on several occasions. To him was awarded the 
authorship of the free schools, and the improved judiciary sys- 
tem of the state. He died in Providence December 30th, 1844. 

Nathan F. Dixon was a gradjiate of Brown University in 1799, 
became a lawyer, established himself in practice in Westerly in 
1802, was elected a senator in congress in 1839, and died in 
Washington in 1842. 


Nathan F. Dixon^ son of the above, was born in Westerly 
in 1812, graduated from Brown University in 1833, studied law 
in his father's office in Westerly, and after an extended course of 
study was admitted to the bar in New London in 1837, and from 
that time until his death practiced law in Rhode Island. He 
died in April, 1881. From 1840 to 1877 Mr. Dixon served his 
native town in the general assembly of Rhode Island or his con- 
gressional district in the United States House of Representatives, 
of which he was a member ten years, from 1849 to 1851 and from 
1863 to 1871. He was a presidential elector in 1844 and also in 
1876. He was attorney for the New York, Providence and Ston- 
ington Railroad Company, and president of the Washington Na- 
tional Bank of Westerly for many years. 

Nathan F. Dixon', of Westerly, son of Nathan F. Dixon", 
was born August 28th, 1847. He was graduated from Brown 
University in the class of 1869, and was educated for his profes- 
sional work by a course of preparatory study under his father 
and afterward in the Albany Law School, where he was gradu- 
ated in the class of 1871. He has since practiced law. He was 
United States district attorney from 1877 to 1885, and represen- 
tative from the second district in the Forty-eighth congress from 
February 5th to March, 1885. 

Edward H. Dixon, a brother of Nathan F. Dixon', was ad- 
mitted to the bar in Westerly in 1877, but after about a year of 
practice in that profession moved to New York, where he is now 

John Hancock Cross was the son of Judge Amos Cross and his 
wife Elizabeth Barns Cross, who had also a daughter, Eliza E., 
wife of Doctor John E. Weeden, all residents of Westerly, R. I. 
His grandparents were John Cross and Susan Sheffield, of South 
Kingstown in the same state. John Hancock Cross was born 
January 17th, 1811, in Westerly, and after attending the schools 
of his native town concluded his course of study at the Plainfield 
academy. Much of his early life was spent as a man of leisure 
in the gratification of refined and cultivated tastes. About 1832 
he purchased the Rockville mills in the town of Hopkinton, 
Washington county, and under the firm name of Burlingame & 
Cross began the manufacture of cotton goods. Deciding some 
years later to abandon commercial life for a professional career, 
he began the study of law with Nathan F. Dixon, Sr., and was 
admitted to both the Rhode Island and New York bars. His 


early success as a lawyer in Westerly speedily opened a field in 
New York city, where he began practice in 1857, but returned 
again to his native town in 1867, and there continued his profes- 
sional labors until his death, on the 10th of November, 1874. Mr. 
Cross soon succeeded in obtaining a remunerative practice, and 
ere many years had elapsed attained marked distinction at the 
bar. His power of concentration of mind was exceptional. This, 
united with a certain legal acumen and ready conception of charac- 
ter and motive, made him a formidable antagonist, and brought 
him many brilliant successes. He was employed on various oc- 
casions in important railroad suits, and was especially active and 
skillful in the prosecution of the bank robbers on the occasion of 
the robbery of the Westerly Bank in 1849. 

Mr. Cross participated actively in the political events of his 
day, was first a democrat and later assumed a neutral attitude 
with reference to party measures. He was elected to the state 
legislature in 1834 and was subsequently nominated for the 
office of lieutenant-governor. He was energetic in the advance- 
ment of local affairs, and did much to promote the growth and 
prosperity of his native town. Mr. Cross was married November 
21st, 1829, to Mary Ann, daughter of Elisha Watson, of South 
Kingstown. Their children are three sons : Amos (deceased), 
Amos and Elisha W. The death of Mrs. Cross occurred August 3d, 
1883, in her seventy-fourth year. Elisha W. served with distinction 
during the war of the rebellion. He entered the service in 
April, 1861, as a member of Company I, Rhode Island Detached 
Militia, assigned to the defense of Washington, and participated 
on the 21st of July in the first battle of Bull Run. When but 
sixteen years of age, he was detailed as' a sharpshooter. He re- 
enlisted in Battery C, Rhode Island Light Artillery, under Cap- 
tain Weeden, and served through the McClellan campaign on the 
Peninsula, participating in all the engagements, the last being 
that of Malvern Hill. He was, on account of illness at Harrison's 
Landing, sent to the Philadelphia Hospital, where his discharge 
was received from President Lincoln. During this period of ser- 
vice he was promoted to corporal and afterward to the position 
of sergeant of the company. Mr. Cross was on the 4th of August, 
1863, made second lieutenant of the Fifth regiment Rhode Island 
Heavy Artillery, receiving his commission from Governor James 
Y. Smith. He was on the 17th of October of the same year com- 
missioned first lieutenant of the Third Rhode Island Cavalry, 



and assigned to duty on the staff of Colonel Gooding, command- 
ing the Fifth Brigade of Cavalry, Department of the Gulf. He 
continued in the service until August, 1865, the date of his resig- 

Honorable Elisha Reynolds Potter,* son of Thomas Potter, Jr., 
and Elizabeth (Reynolds) Potter, was born in South Kingstown, 
November 5th, 1764. He was by trade a blacksmith, his early 
advantages for an education having been extremely limited. In 
1790 he married Mrs. Mary Perkins, a woman of noble presence, 
fine character and of great amiability and suavity of manner. 
The influence of her character possibly had much to do with the 
development of Mr. Potter's. She had considerable wealth, in- 
herited from her first husband, Jonas Perkins, a clock and watch 
maker in Kingston. From him Mr. Potter inherited the land on 
which he built, in 1813, the homestead now standing in Kingston, 
and where all but the eldest of his children were born. After 
his marriage, I think, but certainly after his acquaintance with 
Mrs. Perkins, he studied law and was admitted to the bar. Al- 
though not considered a great lawyer, he was a man of great 
power and force of character. The Reverend William E. Chan- 
ning of Boston, son of William Channing, one of the early attor- 
neys-general of Rhode Island, once said, in speaking of Elisha 
Potter : " My father was amongst the first to discern the abilities 
of that remarkable man, and I remember the kindness with 
which he used to receive him." William Channing died at New- 
port in 1793. 

The first office Mr. Potter held in the town was possibly that of 
justice of the peace in 1790, and for this reason he was some- 
times called by his townspeople *" Judge," but the offense was 
rarely repeated, he being not at all proud of this cognomen. From 
1821 until his death, in 1835, he was president of the Landholders' 
Bank on Kingston Hill. He was frequently sent to represent 
his town in the general assembly. " His name there as well as 
in the southern county was a synonym of power for a third of a 
century." He was speaker of the house from 1797 to 1809. " In 
1770, and for several years preceding, complaints had existed 
against the gross inequality and injustice of the general estimate 
of taxation, and its disproportionate operation upon the respective 
towns. South Kingstown vainly protested against its oppression. 
In a state tax of twelve thousand pounds, vSouth Kingstown was 

* By Mrs. B. F. Robinson. 


assessed one thousand, Providence seven hundred and sixty-six, 
and others in similar ratio. This injustice was so apparent, and 
the complaints so loud, that the legislature appointed a committee 
to inquire into their grievances, but no relief was granted or 
remedy proposed. The representatives from the towns which 
had increased in corporate wealth since the previous estimate, 
governed by their interest of their constituents, uniting with those 
who did not anticipate any benefit from the change, continued 
to refuse redress. This inequality and manifest oppression con- 
tinued to exist until the appearance in the legislature of the 
Honorable Elisha R. Potter in the year 1793. Through his talents 
and influence the estimate of 1795 was effected. This herculean 
triumph, against the efforts of the Providence delegation, secured 
to Mr. Potter the zealous support of the minority towns, and 
South Kingstown in particular, through life.""''^ Thereafter he 
held the elections in these towns in his own hand and pocket, he 
being possibly the first man in the town who expended money 
in elections. 

As a lawmaker and leader, Mr. Potter was a great man. Daniel 
Webster once speaking of vSouth Kingstown, being asked what he 
knew about this town, answered : " I know that Elisha Potter lives 
there ; everybody knows him." Air. Potter received the nomina- 
tion for senator to congress in 1833 and again in 1835, but his 
election was defeated by a small majority. In 1833 his seat was 
contested and Asher Robbins declared entitled thereto. In 1796 
he was elected as representative to Congress but resigned in 
1797 ; he was again elected in 1809, and held the position until 
1815. His politics were what was then called federal. 

Mr. Potter was prepossessing in personal appearance, of fine 
presence, being over six feet in height, and carrying his two hun- 
dred and fifty pounds with dignity if not grace. Even in ad- 
vanced years young ladies would gladly leave the company of 
young men if they could secure his notice. He was steadfast in 
his friendships, but dominant and overbearing. The sun that 
shone upon his friends to-day would hide its rays on the morrow 
to shine again when the clouds had dispersed. He liked for all 
to feel his power, and know that they lived upon his sufferance 

His second wife, Mary Mawney, was niece to his first wife. She 
was the mother of all his children, who were : Elisha Reynolds, 

* Colonel Wilkins Updike's Memoirs of Rhode Island Bar. 


born June 20th, 1811, a prominent lawyer and associate judge of 
the supreme court of Rhode Island from 1868 until 1882, when he 
died; Thomas, born May 4th, 1813, died young; Thomas Mawney, 
born August 12th, 1814, surgeon in the navy, now retired ; Wil- 
liam Henry, born November 2d, 1816, a prominent lawyer who 
practiced many years in Providence, R. I., married late in life, 
and has no children ; James B. Mason, born October 1st, 1818, 
paymaster in the army, now retired, married Eliza, daughter of 
Asa Potter (Her mother was daughter of Governor Benjamin 
Thurston of Hopkinton. They have two children, a son James 
and a daughter Mary) ; Mary Elizabeth, born August 11th, 1821, 

Elisha Reynolds Potter, a distinguished member of the 
Rhode Island Historical Society, was born in South Kings- 
town, R. I., June 20th, 1811, and died there April 10th, 1882. 
He prepared for college in his native village, and was gradu- 
ated at Harvard University in 1830. He was admitted to the 
bar of this state October 9th, 1832. The taste for historical re- 
search was developed in his early life, and in him we have the 
remarkable instance of a young man, hardly twenty-four years 
old, gathering the scattering and perishing memorials of the 
settlement of the ancient King's Province, which in 1835, under 
the title of the " Early History of Narragansett," he gave to this 
society for its third volume of collections. The period covered 
by this book is from the earliest notices of these lands by the 
first settlers in New England to about the year 1730, just a cen- 
tury. This was the pioneer work oh this subject and continues 
to be the chief authority, and is conceded by all to be a marvel- 
lously excellent production. This was Mr. Potter's second work. 
The first work was a report of the committee on religious cor- 
porations of the general assembly made to that body in January, 
1834. Mr. Potter was not a member of the legislature at that 
time, but was employed by the committee to write the report. 
He was then less than twenty-three years of age. 

In 1837 Mr. Potter issued his third work, a brief account of the 
emissions of paper money made by the colony of Rhode Island — 
a pamphlet of fifty pages. Like its predecessor it was a work of 
original research, covering a period from 1710 to 1786. It was 
printed by Mr. Henry Phillips, Jr., in his " Historical Sketches 
of the Paper Currency of the American Colonies," without note 
or comment, about the year 1863, and it has since been rewritten 


and republished in the " Rhode Island' Historical Tracts," with 
an index and many fac similes. The price of this " Tract " nearly 
doubled in less than two years after its publication. His fourth 
book, the " Considerations on the Questions of the Adoption of a 
Constitution and Extension of Suffrage in Rhode Island," was 
printed in Boston in 1842. The edition was soon exhausted, and 
the continuous demand upon its author for copies from all parts 
of the country induced him, in 1879, to reprint it without change. 
The greater part of Judge Potter's life was devoted to public ser- 
vice, at different times in the general assembly of the state, dur- 
ing one session in congress, for five years as commissioner of 
public schools, and for the last fourteen of his life on the bench 
of the supreme court. July 19th, 1832, he was admitted a resident 
member of the Rhode Island Historical Society, and from 1850 to 
1855 held the office of vice-president. 

While commissioner of public schools Mr. Potter became deep- 
ly interested in the subject of popular education, and for the 
succeeding ten years gave his time to the gathering and dissem- 
ination of ideas relating to the subject. He prepared for popu- 
lar use " Remarks on the Provisions of the School Laws, and on 
the duties of the different officers and bodies under them." The 
following are some of the subjects : " The Objects of Education," 
" The Studies," " The Means of Improving the Public Schools," 
" Lyceum Lectures," " Grades and Qualification of Teachers," 
" The Arrangement of Districts," " The Education of Children in 
Factories," " Moral Education," " The Relation of Education to 
the Prevention of Crime," " The Establishment of a Normal 
School for the Education of Teachers," "The Proper Place of 
Colleges in the Educational System," " Objections to Education 
Considered," " The Fundamental Principles of a Public Educa- 
tional System," " Of Prayer and Religious Exercise in Public 
Schools and the Connection of these Schools with Religion," 
" The Use of the Bible in the Public Schools," and many kindred 

In January, 1852, Mr. Potter began the publication of a month- 
ly educational magazine, which he continued until 1855, when it 
expired. The leaves of this little magazine were enriched with 
some of the choicest bits of English literature which the language 

Mr. Sidney S. Rider, when speaking of Judge Potter before 
the Rhode Island Historical Society, says in his concluding re- 


marks : "Great as was the labor and research required in these 
various works they are as nothing when compared to the work 
done by Mr. Potter in the books in his library at Little Rest. 
* * * * Possessed of the knowledge of surveying, scarcely a 
farm in the Narragansett country is there which he had not 
measured and its metes and bounds examined. He knew the 
history of every land title from the advent of Richard Smith to 
the day when he died ; possessed of a knowledge of botany, not 
a flower was born, and grew, and died, that he had not learned 
its pedigree. Possessed of a knowledge of forestry, not a tree 
nor a shrub grew in the south counties of which he knew not its 
story. Virgil was his favorite Latin author, but his library is 
filled with the classics in many editions both ancient and 
modern. He could read Dante and Tasso in their mother 
tongue, and with French he was as familiar as with English. 

" He was a friend of the poor. He was among the earliest and 
strongest friends of education free to all people. He was the 
careful and laborious student of the state for the good of the 
state. He was the staunch supporter of the state and of the gen- 
eral government in their times of extremest peril. He was the 
first among us to establish at his private cost free public librar- 
ies, a project which the state now fosters and men emulate. If 
these things are virtues then indeed was my friend virtuous." 

Judge Dutee Arnold, of Warwick, was well known throughout 
the state of Rhode Island in the earlier years of the present cen- 
tury. He was brother to Philip, the father of Gorton Arnold, 
who kept the famous Arnold Tavern or Gorton Arnold Stand. 
In 1810 he and Henry Arnold erected a saw and grist mill at 
Pontiac, where he was identified with manufacturing interests 
for years. In 1817 he was elected an associate judge of the su- 
preme court. He took his seat on the bench in May, 1818, and 
continued in office until 1822. He had three children : Horatio, 
Walter and Marcy. His granddaughter married George T. 
Spicer, of Providence. 

Sylvester Gardiner Shearman was born in Exeter October 
26th, 1802. A few months after his birth, his parents moved to 
Wickford in the town of North Kingstown. At twenty years of 
age he entered the ofiice of Wilkins Updike, at South Kings- 
town. After admission to the bar he commenced practice in 
Wickford. In 1843 he was elected representative to the legisla- 
ture. The Providence Journal oi that period, in publishing notes 


of his election, said : " We think our friends in North Kings- 
town must have almost heard the shout when the news of the 
victory in that town reached us." Mr. Shearman continued to 
represent his town in succeeding legislatures and in 1848 was 
chosen speaker of the house of representatives. In 1848 he was 
the whig nominee to congress. It was a triangular contest, and 
he failed to get a majority ; he, however, obtained a handsome 
plurality. At a second trial, a plurality elected, when Nathan F. 
Dixon succeeded, Mr. Shearman having voluntarily withdrawn. 
In 1855 Mr. Shearman was elected by the legislature an associate 
justice of the supreme court of the state, which position he held 
until his death. He died in Providence, R. I., January 3d, 1868. 
It was the unanimous testimony of those who knew him that as 
a man he was faithful, conscientious, and capable of making a 
strong effort. His career as judge was a credit to himself and to 
the state. At the time of his death, the members of the bar of 
Rhode Island testified in the most emphatic manner to his abili- 
ty, his industry and his faithfulness, and that he left behind him 
only the most pleasant recollections. Judge Shearman left two 
sons — Sumner Updike Shearman and William D. Shearman, both 
ministers of the Protestant Episcopal church. 

George A. Brayton, of Apponaug, was judge of the supreme 
court and for a number of years chief justice. He belonged to a 
prominent family of very early settlers in the town of Warwick. 
Daniel Brayton, of Old Warwick, was a blacksmith. He removed - 
his shop to Apponaug, where he continued his trade many years. 
George A. Brayton, his son, was elected associate justice of the 
supreme court in 1843, and remained in that position until 1868, 
when he was elected chief judge, which position he held until 
1874, when he retired on full salary, having served thirty years 
on the bench. Charles Brayton, his brother, was many years 
town clerk of Warwick, was associate justice of the supreme 
court from 1814 to 1818, and subsequently became chief. Wil- 
liam D. Brayton, son of Charles, was a member of congress from 
1856 to 1860, and his son Charles R. Brayton, now of Providence, 
was colonel of a regiment in the late war and subsequently 
postmaster of Providence. 

" Albert Collins Greene was born in East Greenwich in 1792. 
He was a son of Perry Greene, a brother of General Nathaniel 
Greene. He read law in New York, returned to his native town 
and state and here commenced the practice of his profession. 


He was not a graduate of any college, but was considered the 
most eminent lawyer in Rhode Island. In 1815 he was elected 
to the general assembly of this state. In 1816 he was elected a 
brigadier-general of the militia, then of more importance than 
now, and subsequently became a major-general. From 1822 to 
1825 he served again in the legislature of the state, and was 
chosen speaker. From 1825 to 1843 he was attorney-general of 
Rhode Island. From 1845 to 1851 he was a senator from Rhode 
Island in congress ; and having again served a term in each of 
the two houses of the state legislature, he retired from public 
life in 1857, and died at Providence January 8th, 1863." 

" Nathan Whiting, characterized in his obituary as a ' lawyer 
of deep judgment and erudition,' was long a prominent resident 
of this town. Born in Franklin, Mass., in 1774, he entered 
Brown University in 1793, and graduated in due course. He was 
admitted to the bar in 1800, and came directly to East Green- 
wich. Immediately after his arrival he delivered an oration on 
the death of Washington, by the invitation of a joint committee 
of East Greenwich and Warwick. It still remains in the posses- 
sion of his descendants to testify to his unusual powers. He con- 
tinued to reside in East Greenwich during his lifetime, and was 
devoted to the practice of the law and to teaching. He died Sep- 
tember 24th, 1842." 

" William Gorton Bowen, a good and reliable lawyer and a 
man of unblemished reputation, was born in Coventry, R. I., May 
14th, 1799. He studied law with General Albert C. Greene, in 
East Greenwich, and was admitted to the bar about 1824. From 
that time until his death, which occurred March 4th, 1854, he 
continued to practice law with good success at East Greenwich. 
During this time he was elected to the general assembly, and re- 
ceived other tokens of public confidence. He married a Miss 
Susan Packard, of South Kingstown, and left one son, William 
S. Bowen, M. D., who is now a successful oculist and aurist at 
Hartford, Conn. 

Joseph Windsor was a graduate at Brown University in 1840. 
He was born in Glocester, R. I., January 15th, 1821, but after 
graduation taught school two years in Prince George's county, 
Md. He returned to Rhode Island in 1842, and studied law with 
Samuel Y. Atwell in Providence. After he was admitted to the 
bar he removed to East Greenwich and began the practice of the 
law. Soon after he lost his library and other valuables by fire. 


He possessed great business capacity and was better fitted for a 
financier than for a lawyer, and became a very successful busi- 
ness man in the community, taking great interest in various pro- 
jects. He became the founder and first secretary of the Farmers' 
Mutual Insurance Company of East Greenwich. He died of con- 
sumption December 20th, 1853, and was buried in St. Luke's 
cemetery by the side of his wife, who was a Miss Louisa McClel- 
lan, an aunt of General George B. McClellan. 

William E. Peck was born October 30tli, 1815. He studied law 
with Francis E. Hoppin and Richard Ward Greene, was ad- 
mitted to the bar in 1850, and commenced practice in Providenct. 
In 1852 he became a member of the legislature, and was ap- 
pointed judge of the court of magistrates. In 1855 he removed 
to East Greenwich, but continued to practice in Providence. 
In 1857 he was elected a senator from East Greenwich. In 1864 
he joined the Rhode Island Cavalry, and accompanied his regi- 
ment as second lieutenant to Louisiana, where he died from an 
attack of congestive chills August 13th, 1865. 

John Hall*, the subject of this sketch, was the grandson of Wil- 
liam and Mary (Slocum) Hall, and the son of Slocum and Almy 
(Fry) Hall. He was born January 18th, 1780, in North Kings- 
town at the old Hall house (now standing) on the westerly side 
of the Post road, formerly called the Pequot path, well known 
from an attractive height on the estate called " Hall's Rocks." 
He married, August 28th, 1807, Patience Peckham, daughter of 
Benedict and Mary Eldred Peckham. He received a common 
school education, studied law, was admitted to the bar, and prac- 
ticed his profession in his native town until his decease on the 
18th of February, 1846. At that time, while in attendance at a 
convention in Providence, after dining at his hotel, being seated 
in his chair smoking his cigar, and enjoying social converse with 
his friends, without any premonition he was stricken down, 

" They saw in death his eyelids close 
Calmly, as to a night's repose." 

Mr. Hall was a regular attendant at the Quaker meeting, and 
took much interest therein. He was interred in the Hall bury- 
ing ground on their homestead estate, Thomas Anthony, a 
noted Quaker speaker, delivering the funeral discourse. Mr. Hall 
was a self-made man, and an ardent and active democrat. He 

* By John J. Reynolds. 


was honest in his dealings, genial and^ sympathetic in his 

David S. Baker, Jr., of North Kingstown, is the present attor- 
ney for the United States District of Rhode Island. He was 
educated in the public schools, and was graduated from Brown 
University in 1875. He then studied law under Honorable 
Samuel Currey, and was admitted to practice in 1877, his office 
then being in Wickford. Mr. Baker was superintendent of the 
town schools for six years, was a member of the lower house of 
the legislature two years and of the senate three years, at the end 
of which time, in 1885, he resigned his seat in that body to ac- 
cept the district attorneyship, which position he still holds. In 
1876 Mr. Baker wrote the history of the town of North Kings- 
town, by order of the town council, and from that valuable work 
we are indebted for much matter published in our own. 

William C. Baker, of Providence, is a brother of David S. 
Baker. He is a graduate of Brown University of the class of 1881, 
and for two years thereafter was a professor of ancient languages 
in Devaux College, New York. He was superintendent of the 
town schools of North Kingstown four years, after which he 
studied law under his brother, and was admitted to the bar in 
1884. In 1888 he was honored by his party with a nomination 
for congress for the second district of Rhode Island, but was de- 

Elisha C. Clarke, of South Kingstown, was a student of law 
under Elisha R. Potter, and was one of the most brilliant mem- 
bers of the profession. He was a native of the town of South 
Kingstown, was admitted to the bar about 1860, and died in De- 
cember, 1887, aged about forty-nine years. His wife, Mrs. Brown 
Clarke, died prior to his death. Mr. Clarke is spoken of by the 
profession as possessing a strong, analytical mind, and as being 
a clear reasoner and a strong, forceful speaker. 

Henry Howard, of Coventry, is a native of the town of Crans- 
ton, R. I., but about the year 1854, moved to Coventry, where he 
still resides. He was educated at Brown University and in 1848 
began the study of law under Governor W. W. Hoppin. After ad- 
mission to the bar he was at first associated with Governor Hop- 
pin and subsequently with Thomas A. Jencks. He continued 
the practice of his profession until 1858, when he opened an 
agency in New York for the Harris Manufacturing Company, 
but upon the death of Governor Harris in 1861, removed the of- 


fice to Providence, where it is now under his superintendency. In 
ISftS he married Catherine G., daughter of Governor Elisha Har- 
ris. In 1873 he was elected governor of Rhode Island and held 
the office until 187ri. 

Henry B. Anthony, of Coventry, has been prominently identi- 
fied with the history of the state in the various political positions 
he has held. He was born in the town of Coventry April 1st, 
1816, received a classical education from Brown University, 
assumed editorial charge of the Providence Journal, was elected 
governor of Rhode Island in 1849, re-elected in 1850 and declined 
another re-election. He was elected United States senator from 
Rhode Island and took his seat in 1859, and was successively re- 
elected in 1864, 1870, 1876 and 1882. He died while in office in 
1884 and was succeeded in the senate by Jonathan Chace, who 
was elected senator January 21st, 1885, to fill his place. 

Thomas H. Peabody was born in North Stonington, Conn., 
September 23d, 1839. He studied law in the office of Thurston 
& Ripley, at Providence, R. I., and in 1864 was admitted to the 
bar of Rhode Island and subsequently to the bars of Connecti- 
cut and the United States courts. In 1865 he opened an office in 
Westerly, where he continued to practice until 1886, since which 
time he has been engaged in other pursilits. A more extended 
sketch of Mr. Peabody's life may be found in Chapter IV, of 
this volume. 

Charles Perrin, of Westerly, is a member of the firm of Dixon 
& Perrin. He is a native of Stonington, Conn., and was educated 
in the high school of that place and in other institutions. He 
studied law under Judge Alfred Coit, and was admitted to the 
bar in his native state in 1875. He was a member of the general 
assembly in 1875, clerk of the house of representatives in 1880 
and 1881, and clerk of the senate in 1882. In 1882 he began the 
practice of law with Thomas H. Peabody, of Westerly, under 
whom he had previously finished his course at law, after the 
death of Judge Coit. In 1886 he formed a partnership with Na- 
than F. Dixon, with whom he is now associated. 

Albert B. Crafts, of Westerly, is a native of Brockton, Mass. He 
is a classical graduate of Middletown, Conn., of the class of 1871. 
During this same year he began the study of law under Thomas 
H. Peabody and was admitted to the bar in 1875. In 1877 he be- 
gan practicing with his former teacher and was a member of this 




c^.-^^'Oid^^z,-.,^^^ ^/cy^ 



firm until 1881. From 1881 to 1887 he was the senior member of 
the law firm of Crafts & Tillinghast, since which time he has 
been alone. 

Frank W. Tillinghast, now a manufacturer and a member of 
the Pocassett Warp Company, is a native of the town of Exeter. 
He is a graduate of Harvard University, and subsequently took 
his law course under Judge Tillinghast, of Pawtuxet. He was a 
member of the firm of Crafts & Tillinghast from March 1st, 1884, 
to April 26th, 1887. 

Albert B. Burdick was formerly a minister, and at one time 
pastor of Pawcatuck Seventh Day Baptist church of Westerly. In 
1877, very late in life, he began the study of law under Nathan 
F. Dixon, of that village, and soon after was admitted to the bar. 
About this time he was made trial justice, which position he held 
until the judicial district system came into use in 1886. He then 
continued his chosen profession until his death July 3d, 1887, 
when about seventy years of age. He was an able man and a 
gifted speaker. 

Henry Whipple, of Westerly, judge of the Third Rhode Island 
district, which embraces the towns of Westerly, Richmond, 
Charlestown and Hopkinton, was born September 7th, 1825, at 
Anthony, R. I. In 1842 he went to the town of Hopkinton and 
followed his trade, that of a harness maker. In 1858 he was 
elected town clerk of Hopkinton and held that position till 1867. 
He was assessor of the internal revenue tax from 1862 to 1872. 
In 1868 he left Hopkinton and came to Westerly, where he has 
since resided. He was elected sheriff of Washington county in 
1872, and re-elected each year thereafter until 1886, when he was 
chosen judge of the Third Judicial district by the general assem- 
bly. The legal fraternity compliment Judge Whipple as an able 
and efficient executive. 

Eugene F. Warner, of Anthony, R. I., is judge of the Fourth 
Judicial district, which comprises the county of Kent. He was 
educated at Newton, Mass., and at Brown University, where he 
graduated in 1875. He studied law under James H. Parsons and 
Joseph E. Spink, and upon the completion of his studies in 1877, 
opened an office in Providence. He was admitted to the United 
States court in 1882. He became a member of the general 
assembly in 1877, clerk -of the Rhode Island senate in 1877, which 
position he still holds ; secretary of the republican state central 


committee from 1882 to 1887, and was elected judge of Kent 
county district in 1886. 

Nathan B. Lewis, judge of the Second Judicial district of Rhode 
Island, was born in the town of Exeter, February 26th, 1842. He 
received his education in the common and select schools of his 
town, and at East Greenwich academy,after which he taught school 
for a few years. In 1862 he enlisted in Company F, Seventh Rhode 
Island Volunteer Infantry, and was with that regiment everyday 
until discharged June 9th, 1865, participating in every battle. He 
was never absent a day for any cause while in the service. After 
the war he taught school again, and for a few years represented 
a publication in some of the Western states with marked success. 
In 1869 he was elected to the general assembly from the town of 
Exeter, and was re-elected in 1870 and 1871. He moved to Pine 
Hill in 1871, and purchased the farm owned by Thomas Phillips. 
In 1872 he succeeded Mr. Phillips as town clerk, and held that 
position until June, 1888. In the spring of 1886 he was elected 
to the house of representatives again. He was elected trial justice 
in 1873 for the town of Exeter, and in 1886, upon the adoption 
of the district system, was elected justice of the Second Judicial 
district, which position he still holds. He was a member of the 
school committee from 1865 to 1886, and about one third of that 
time superintendent of the town schools. He was tax assessor 
from 1873 to 1888, was coroner of the town of Exeter from 1884 
until 1886, was justice of the peace continuously from 1873, and 
has held other positions of responsibility. 

Samuel W. K. Allen.— Thomas Allen was the great-great- 
grandfather of the subject of this biographical sketch. His son 
Samuel was the father of Thomas, who resided on the home- 
stead in North Kingstown, and spent his life in the employments 
pertaining to agriculture. By his marriage to Eliza Ann Til- 
linghast, of East Greenwich, were born children : Eliza, Maria, 
Samuel G., Susan T., George W. T., Nicholas T., Elsie Ann, Julia 
A. and Clarissa. George W. T. Allen was born on the homestead 
farm at Quidnessett, in North Kingstown, where his life, with a 
brief exception, was spent, and where his death occurred. He 
was attracted to the gold fields of California during the early 
period of emigration to that territory, and among the Argonauts 
of '49, whose pioneer experiences were fraught with interest if 
not with danger. Mr. Allen subsequently followed the tailor's 




trade for many years in East Greenwich. He married Ann, 
daughter of Clark Tillinghast, of Exeter. Their children were 
three in number, the only survivor being Samuel W. K, Allen, 
who was born January 2d, 1842, in North Kingstown. He re- 
ceived his elementary education at the East Greenwich academy, 
subsequently entered the New York Conference Seminary, and 
pursued a more thorough course at the Boston University. 

In 1861, the first year of the rebellion, he enlisted as a member 
of the 11th United States Infantry, and served until 1863, being 
specially detailed for detached and recruiting service. He chose 
the bar as a profession, began its study with M. S. Wilcox, of 
Jefferson, New York, and entering the law department of the 
Boston University in 1873, was in 1875 graduated from that 
institution. Mr. Allen was admitted to practice at both the 
Massachusetts and Rhode Island bar, and in 1877 located in East 
Greenwich, where his knowledge of the law, united with ability 
and application, soon brought him to notice and caused him to 
be identified with a large proportion of the important cases in 
the county. He entered public life in 1884—6 as the successful 
candidate of the republican party for the state legislature. He is 
also judge advocate of the Grand Army of the Republic for the 
Department of Rhode Island. Mr. Allen is an active member 
of the Methodist Episcopal church of East Greenwich, and has 
from time to time filled the more important offices connected 
with that organization. He was in 1860 married to Harriet, 
daughter of Chauncey and Lucy B. Minor, of Jefferson, N. Y. 
Their children are : Thomas, Howard, Lucy A. and Samuel W. 
K., Jr. 

Benjamin W. Case, of Wakefield, is a successful lawyer, though 
one of the younger members of the bar. He is a native of Rhode 
Island, born thirty-three years ago. He was educated in the 
public schools of South Kingstown, and has had some advantages 
of collegiate instruction. He studied his profession under Elisha 
C. Clarke, an able barrister of Kingston, and was admitted to 
practice in 1877, when twenty-one years old. Mr. Case was clerk 
of the courts both before and after he was admitted to the bar — 
of the common pleas court in 1875, and of the common pleas and 
supreme courts in 1887. 

Charles J. Arms, of East Greenwich, a recent member of the 
bar, is a native of the town of Norwich, Conn. He received a 
good literary education, and after a thorough preparation in law 


under Harrison & Okey and Abram R. Lawrence, was admitted 
to practice in the courts of New York state, April 20th, 1866, and 
to the supreme court of Pennsylvania, May 17th, 1870, and the 
courts of Rhode Island February 19th, 1887. Mr. Arms came to 
East Greenwich in 1885 as a correspondent of the Providence 
Journal, but again drifted into the ranks of the legal fraternity, 
where his education and ability will be fully appreciated. 



Physicians of Washington County.* 

James Noyes.— George Stillman.— Thomas Rodman.— "William Vincent.— Joshua 
Babcock.— Sylvester Gardiner. — Joseph Comstook.— John 'Aldrich. — Daniel 
Lee. — James Noyes. — George Hazard Perry. — Nathan Knight. — Israel An- 
thony. — Peleg Johnson.— William G. Shaw. — Amos Collins.— Isaac Collins. — 
John Collins.— John M. Collins.— Stephen F. Griffin.— Dan King.— Wilham 
Robinson. — Horatio Robinson. — John G. Pierce. — Joseph H. Griffin. ^Henry 
Aldrich. — George Hazard Church. — William T. Thurston. — John B. Rose.— 
John E. Weeden.— Thomas A. Hazard. — William H. Wilbur.— Edwin R. 
Lewis. — Edwin Anthony. — Joseph D. Kenyon. — John D. Kenyon. — Amos R. 
Collins. — Albert A. Saunders. — Samuel B. Church. — Elisha P. Clarke. — John 
A. Wilcox. — Curtiss E. Maryott. — J. Howard Morgan. — John Wilbur. — John 
H. Merrill. — Henry N. Crandall. — George C. Bailey. — Alexander B. Briggs. — 
Charles Hitchcock. — Etta Payne. — Lucy A. Babcock. — John E. Perry. — S. 
Oscar Myers. — James N. Lewis. — H. W. Rose. — George H. Beebe. — Alvin H. 
Eccleston. — George V. Foster. ^George F. Bliven. — Edward E. Kenyon. — 
Herbert J. Pomroy. — F. T. Rogers. — Henry K. Gardner. — Philip K. Taylor. 
— William J. Ryan. — Lorin F.Wood. — William James. — John Champlin. — 
Edwin R. Lewis. — Other Physicians. — County Medical Society. 

IT has been truly said that to write the history of any epoch 
the historian must study the lives of the men who have lived 

in it, and doubly true is it of the history of the medical pro- 
fession of Washington county, for it is made up entirely of the 
records of the lives of those who have practiced medicine within 
its boundaries. 

The late Doctor Edwin Ransome Lewis, of Westerly, to whom 
the author is much indebted for data concerning the earlier phy- 
sicians of this county, in an address before the Washington 
County Medical Society, of which he was the first president, 

* The sketches of Physicians of Washington County in this chapter were con- 
tributed by Frederick T. Rogers, M. D., of Westerly, with the exception of the 
following, viz.: William G. Shaw, George Hazard Church, Edwin R. Lewis, 
Stephen F. Griffin, J. H. Griffin, Joseph D. Kenyon, John D. Kenyon, Samuel 
B. Church, John A. Wilcox, H. W. Rose, F. T. Rogers and Robert K, Sun- 
derland . 


quoted these words of Horace Greely : " Name is a vapor, nativity 
an accident, oblivion a certainty ;" and remarked that " when a 
man has been dead for fifty years his name is strange to a large 
portion of the community in which he lived ; in one hundred 
years all recollection of him is gone, and it is indeed an accident 
if his name has not passed into oblivion." So it is not strange 
that in the early history of this county the lines are faint and in 
many cases almost indistinct, yet at the outset we find well re- 
corded the principal facts relative to the life of the first physician 
who practiced medicine within our boundaries. 

In 1662, James Noyes, an educated physician and divine, set- 
tled near Anguilla brook, south of the road now leading from 
Westerly to Mystic, and for fifty years was pastor of the First 
Congregational church, now known as the Road Meeting House. 
There being few white people at this time in the county he be- 
came extensively known, and his practice extended from New 
London to Newport. He was called to administer to the physi- 
cal sufferings as well as to attend to the spiritual wants of his 
patients. In 1675, when Captain Mason was about to proceed 
against the Narragansetts in the great swamp at Kingstown, Doc- 
tor Noyes was assigned by the authorities to go with him as sur- 
geon, but sickness in his family prevented ; however, after the 
battle had been fought and won, the wounded of both friends 
and foes were brought to his house, and it was there that sen- 
tence of death was pronotmced upon Canonchet. Doctor Noyes 
was a son of Reverend James Noyes, a native of Wiltshire, Eng., 
who was born there in 1608, educated at Oxford as a divine, and 
came to America in 1634, and first settled in Newbury, Mass., 
where Doctor James Noyes was born in 1640. Doctor Noyes 
married Dorothy Stanton, and by her had five sons, from the 
eldest of whom, Thomas, was descended Joseph, the father of the 
Doctor James Noyes of later date. 

The next physician in Westerly of whom we have record was 
Doctor George Stillman, an Englishman by birth, who came to 
Westerly in 1700 from Wethersfield, Conn., purchased land and 
practiced medicine for several years, at the same time eking 
out a somewhat scanty income by working at his trade, that of 
a tailor. 

Cotemporaneous with these practitioners in the eastern part 
of the county, we know that Doctor Thomas Rodman, from whose 
marriage with Patience, daughter of Peter and Ann Easton, is 


descended the branch of the Rodman family in South Kings- 
town, was practicing in the other end of the county. Little is 
known of his personal history, save that he was one of the 
earliest settlers in Kingstown, and that the birth of his son is 
recorded there as occurring in 1707. There is also recorded in 
the records of that town the grant of a portion of land to Doctor 
Thomas Rodman in consideration for his services, which land 
descended to his son, Thomas Rodman, Jr., and this fact renders 
it probable that his practice was at first located in Kingstown ; 
although his later years, after the age of forty, were spent in 
Newport, where he became an important factor in the Society 
of Friends, of which he was a member. Doctor Rodman's pro- 
geny were very numerous, and included in one generation five 
physicians. His son Thomas, by his first marriage, died in Kings- 
town in 1773. 

Succeeding Doctor George Stillman in Westerly came Doctor 
William Vincent, who was born in 1729, and after commencing 
to practice his profession in Westerly lived there until his death, 
which occurred in 1807. During his life he occupied at different 
times many positions of trust in town and state, and was during 
the revolutionary war a surgeon of Colonel Noyes' regiment of 
militia, which saw much active service. 

Doctor Joshua Babcock was the first native of the town of 
Westerly who practiced medicine within its boundaries. He was 
born in 1707, was a graduate of Yale College and studied medi- 
cine in Boston, afterward perfecting his education in England. 
Upon the completion of his studies he settled in his native town 
and soon became very extensively known,'as a surgeon, through- 
otit southern New England, and was often called in consultation 
to neighboring towns. He established the largest retail store 
between New York and Boston, and by reason of his position 
and wealth was at once called upon to take an active part in pub- 
lic life and was for years justice of the supreme court of Rhode 
Island. For over forty years he represented the town in the 
general assembly, and was a member of the state council of war 
at the time of the revolution. Generous he was always, and it 
is recorded that he donated one hundred dollars to the poor of 
Boston, a sum then of great relative magnitude. Doctor Bab- 
cock was the first postmaster of Westerly, the office being located 
at his house and the receipts of the office during the first year 
were less than seven dollars. He was a true patriot and during 


the darkest days of the revolution, when the state was in great 
need of money, he volunteered to loan the required amount and 
to take the risk of ultimate payment upon himself, confident in 
the final success of the cause he loved so well. His home was 
the resort of the educated men of the state and country; Washing- 
ton, Franklin and many other noted men of that period were 
frequently his guests. Doctor Babcock was one of the corporate 
members of Brown University and one of its fellows, and was, 
like his friend and associate. Governor vSamuel Ward, a Seventh 
Day Baptist. He was a man of medium size, spare habit, light 
and active. At seventy-five years of age it is said that he could 
easily mount a sixteen-hand horse with the agility of a man of 
twenty. In his address and manners he was a gentleman of the 
old school, scrupulously polite, and laid great stress upon the con- 
ventionalities of life. As a citizen, physician, legislator, judge, 
teacher and scholar he had no superior. 

Doctor Sylvester Gardiner was a son of William Gardiner, 
Esq., of South Kingstown, and was born there in 1707. He 
gained his medical education in Boston and completed his course 
in Europe, studying Ophthalmology four years in Paris. He re- 
turned to this county, but soon went to Boston where he became 
famous and had a most extensive practice in medicine and oper- 
ative surgery, later practicing in Newport, where he lived until 
his death which occurred in 1786. 

Doctor Joseph Comstock, another South Kingstown physician, 
came from Lyme, Conn., as an assistant to Doctor Joshua Perry 
about 1750, remaining there in practice until the return of Doc- 
tor Perry to his native state, when Doctor Comstock removed to 
Lebanon, Conn., where he lived until he was over ninety years 
of age. Doctor Comstock was an exceedingh^ well educated 
man and wrote several books, among which was the " Tongue of 
Time or Star of the vStates." He also edited an edition of 
" Self-love," a sermon delivered by Robert Cushman in 1621 and 
said to be the first sermon preached in New England and oldest 
extant of any delivered in America. This was published in New 
York in 1847 by J. E. D. Comstock. 

Doctor John Aldrich, of Hopkinton, was a native of the town 
of Tolland, Conn., where he was born April 10th, 1750. He was 
the son of Timothy and Mary Aldrich, and received the rudi- 
ments of a literary education in the schools of that village. His 
medical knowledge was gained under the teaching of Doctor 


Perkins, of Tolland, and when the revolutionary war began he 
received a commission as surgeon of a regiment, which position 
he held until captured by the British at the battle of White 
Plains. For some reason he did not receive the usual fate of 
captives but was taken to Jamaica, one of the West India islands, 
where he remained a captive until the close of the war ; yet on 
account of his skill as a surgeon and ability he was treated with 
every courtesy by his captors, and allowed great liberties, and 
at one time was in charge of the hospital on the island. Doctor 
Aldrich was married to Elizabeth Thurston, a cousin of the Hon. 
Benjamin Thurston, of Hopkinton, and soon after his marriage 
removed to New York state. While there he suffered from an 
attack of yellow fever, and upon his recovery he returned to 
Rhode Island and practiced medicine until his death, which oc- 
curred in Hopkinton, March 23d, 1843. Doctor Aldrich was the 
father of Doctor Henry Aldrich, of Wyoming, of Luke Aldrich, 
of South Kingstown, grandfather of J. M. Aldrich, of Westerly, 
and great-grandfather of Doctor John Aldrich, a recent graduate 
of the College of Physicians and Surgeons. 

Doctor Daniel Lee, soon after the death of Doctor Joshua Bab- 
cock, came to Westerly and began practice. His office was loca- 
ted in what was known as the old Dixon House, which he at that 
time owned, and he was the first physician in Westerly who de- 
voted his entire time to the practice of his profession. The fame 
of Doctor Lee was wide extended and brought many medical 
students to study under his direction, but he died in the very 
prime of his career at forty-two years of age. 

Doctor James Noyes was the son of Joseph Noyes and Barbara 
Wells, and was born in 1768 in Westerly, near Noyes' Neck, on 
the site of the farm now occupied (1889) by Gideon Collins. Here 
Doctor Noyes was reared under the surveillance of his father, 
who was one of the strictest of all strict Presbyterians, and his 
early training can be surmised by the following anecdote of his 
father. It is related that on his departure for church on Sunday 
he would call his children together and tie them up, lest in their 
playfulness they should forget their training and desecrate the 
holy day. His wife did not agree with him and as soon as he 
was out of sight would release the captives upon their promise 
that they would return and be again tied before their father 
should appear in sight. It is not strange therefore that Doctor 
Noyes should, in his active life present the characteristics of his 


father. He practiced for some time in Hopkinton and later in 
Westerly, living in the house now owned by Orlando Smith. He 
died in 1856. 

Doctor George Hazard Perry was a son of George H. and Abi- 
gail (Chesebrough) Perry. His father was a brother of Chris- 
topher Raymond Perry, the father of Commodore Oliver Hazard 
Perry, and a direct descendant of Edward Perry, who came from 
Devonshire, Eng., in 1644, and who married a daughter of Gov- 
ernor James Freeman of Plymouth, Mass., in 1653. Doctor Perry 
was born in Whitestown, N. Y., in June, 1789, and was the first 
male white child born in that place. It is related that when 
Commodore Oliver H. Perry was born in 1785 the doctor's mother, 
who was present, spread a silk handkerchief over the child and 
remarked that the child though now covered by a handkerchief 
would some day become a great man. How true the prophesy 
was, history records. After his marriage to Elizabeth, daughter 
of Thomas and Mary Wells, Doctor Perry lived for some time 
in Salem, N. Y., but afterward removed to Hopkinton. Doctor 
Perry died suddenly August 30th, 1854, while on a visit to 
Pomfret, Conn. 

Doctor Nathan Knight, of Killingly, Conn., was for thirty 
years or more in practice in Usquepaug, having studied under 
the direction of Doctor Jonathan Anthony, and in early life mar- 
ried his daughter. Doctor Knight's descendants still live in 

Doctor Israel Anthony, son of Doctor Jonathan Anthony and 
Patience (Gardner) Anthony, was born in Foster, R. I., January 
15th, 1790. Here his early life was spent, until under his father's 
supervision he began the study of medicine in Providence, where 
he graduated in 1819. He immediately began practice at Usque- 
paug, and continued in business there until his death, which oc- 
curred March 1st, 1867. Doctor Anthonj^vas twice married; first 
to Desire Aldrich, of Scituate, by whom he had one daughter, 
and next to Ann H. Ennis of South Kingstown, in 1820,by whom 
he had one child, the late Doctor Edwin Anthon5^ Doctor Israel 
Anthony was highly esteemed by the community in which he 
lived, and twice represented his town in the legislature. 

Cotemporaneous with Doctor Lee in Westerly was Doctor 
Peleg Johnson, of South Kingstown, who was born in Charles- 
town, R. I., July 27th, 1791 , and who was the oldest son of Kenyon 
and Elizabeth Johnson. His early life was spent upon his father's 


farm, but even there he evinced when yet a lad an eagerness and 
determination to gain an education, which was a sore disappoint- 
ment to his father, who desired only to retain his services on 
the family estate. When twenty the bonds became too galling, 
and he left the farm with five dollars in his pocket and a well 
worn suit of clothes in lieu of his father's blessing, and tramping 
to Mansfield, Conn., began his studies under Doctor Soule of that 
place. He was able, after hard years of study and economy, to 
graduate from Yale College in 1816. In May, 1821, he was mar- 
ried to Mrs. Sarah Hines, of Washington, R. I., and soon re- 
moved to Kingston, where he lived until his death, which oc- 
curred June 8th, 1859. During the last few months of his life he 
was crippled by a fracture of the thigh and a compound fracture 
of the leg resulting from an accident, and his death occurred 
from apoplexy, which seized him while on his way to visit a 
patient. Doctor Johnson was a member of the State Medical 
Society. In spite of the low tariff for professional services and 
his being a notoriously lenient creditor. Doctor Johnson died 
possessed of considerable wealth, a fact which, when compared 
with the business which he did, excites comment. His diary and 
ledger is still extant, and from it we learn each day the tempera- 
ture, the weather, direction of wind and probabilities of the mor- 
row, as well as a record of his daily doings. The following items, 
copied from its pages are of interest, showing the daily life of a 
physician of that day : 

" January 1st, 1849. — Weather cold, wind N. W. snow and ice 
covers the ground and makes it good sleighing. Weeden Allen's 
wife was this morning delivered of three daughters. 

"January 2d, 1849. — Wind N.W. and extremely cold. Last even- 
ing the good people of Westerly held a fair at the new Congre- 
gational meeting house. There was about four hundred present 
when without warning the iioor gave way and precipitated the 
people in the cellar below. Many received fractured limbs. 

" January 11th, 1849. — Last evening two prisoners escaped from 
jail. Wind N. W. probably warmer to-morrow. Great excitement 
all over the country over the reported discovery of gold in Cali- 

"June 13th, 1849. — Wind S. E. Bought a pound of tea of P. 
Helm, price .37^ cts." 

From his ledger we learn of his daily routine : 

" Nov. 4, 1851, Stephen Grinnell, Dr., to visit & medicine .42. 


Wilkins Updike, Dr., to visit & medicine, .42, to extra pills for 
servant, .12. Nov. 10, 1851, John Cassel, Cr., by 1 cord wood, 
3.00. January 12, ]8.')2, Geo. Johnson, Dr., to medicine for boy, 
.17. Robert Rathborn, Dr., to parturition, 3.00. Town of King- 
ston, Dr., to physick for two prisoners, .17." 

For some reason, perhaps competition, the tariff for profes- 
sional services became higher as we learn by the following 
charges : " Robert B. Rose, Dr., to visit & medicine, .67 ; to par- 
turition, 5.00." In spite of the low prices for his services hay is 
quoted at $20 per ton. During one week, according to his ledger, 
that beginning January 22d, 1855, Doctor Johnson had charged 
upon his book $6.25, which necessitated at a moderate calculation 
a ride of over seventy-five miles. 

Doctor William G. Shaw, deceased, was born in 1770. He was 
educated in the office of Doctor Isaac Center for seven years, af- 
ter having been in the drug store of Nicholas Tillinghast & Co., 
several years. In 1793 he located in the Mohawk Valley and 
practiced a year. In 1794 he began in Wickford a practice which 
was ended by his death in 1865. He aided the Wickford Acad- 
emy (chartered in 1800) in many ways. He was married in 1796 to 
Mrs. Elizabeth McLaughlin, a daughter of Samuel Brenton, Esq. 
Of his nine children, his daughter Rebecca A. is the only sur- 
vivor. His son Samuel B. Shaw was a D. D. and William A. was 
an M. D. 

No name has been more prominent in the medical history of 
the county than that of Collins, for at no time since 1792 has 
there failed to be in active practice somewhere within its limits 
a Doctor Collins. The oldest physician of that name was Doctor 
Amos Collins, the son of Amos and Thankful (Clark) Collins, 
who was born in North Stonington, Conn., December 12th, 1774, and 
studied medicine with Doctor Daniel Lee, of Westerly, and was 
married to Mary Peckham. During the early years of his life 
he practiced in New London, Conn., where he was specially 
noted as active in an epidemic of yellow fever (most of the in- 
habitants who were able having fled from the city and among 
whom were some of the physicians) ; later at Cranston, R. I., and 
finally at Hopkinton. Besides the practice of medicine he was, 
while in Cranston, engaged in the cloth dressing business in 
partnership -with Mr. Smith Thayer. In Hopkinton he repre- 
sented the town in the legislature. He died at the age of sev- 
enty-five years. 


An elder brother of Amos Collins, but younger in the profes- 
sion, was Isaac, the 'grandfather of the present Doctor Amos R. 
Collins, of Westerly. He was born in North Stonington in 1772. 
He studied medicine with his brother, and after his marriage to 
Mary Collins in 1792, he began the practice of medicine in Rich- 
mond, but afterward removed to Hopkinton. Doctor Isaac Col- 
lins, like his brother, was prominent in town affairs, and was the 
representative of Hopkinton and Richmond in the legislature. 
He died in 1842. 

Doctor John Collins was another brother who also practiced 
medicine in this county. He, too, was born in North Stoning- 
ton, studied with his brother and began to practice in that ap- 
parently medically fertile town, Hopkinton. Afterward he re- 
moved to New York state. Doctor John Collins was, during the 
war of 1812, captured by the British, carried to Spain and re- 
mained a captive for some time. 

Doctor John M. Collins was the son of Isaac and Mary Collins, 
and was born in Richmond, R. I. He studied under the direc- 
tion of his father and Doctor Wattles, and likewise practiced dur- 
ing the most of his life in the Collins reservation, Hopkinton. 
He was married to Louise Thompson and died about fifteen 
years ago. 

Doctor Stephen F. Griffin was a resident in his childhood of 
Stephentown, N. Y., where he was educated as a phy.sician. He 
commenced the practice of medicine in Charlestown, R. I., in 
1806, and was married to Hannah, daughter of Colonel Joseph 
Hazard of South Kingstown, November 16th, 1807. He was a 
gentleman of marked ability and culture, and a member of the 
Rhode Island Medical Society until his death, which occurred at 
the early age of forty-four years, leaving a widow and five chil- 

Closely following Doctor Stephen F. Griffin in Charlestown 
was Doctor Dan King, who lived many years in that town. He 
was an earnest advocate of advanced education and his sons were 
all prepared for various professions. He published several books, 
among them one on the " Use of Tobacco," which gained him 
considerable notoriety. In 1828 he was appointed by the town 
to build the first school house erected by white people in that 

Doctor William Robinson practiced medicine in Westerly 
about 1800. He was a graduate of Yale College and was born in 


Plainfield, Conn. He succeeded Doctor Daniel Lee and was 
counted a successful practitioner. In later life he catered to the 
then popular craze of homoeopathy and began practicing that 
school. Of him it is related that at one time he had prescribed 
a minute trituration of some drug, cautionmg the patient against 
leaving such a potent remedy where others could get at it. Doc- 
tor John E. Weeden, who earlier had been in partnership with 
him, happened to be visiting a patient in the same family, and 
noticing the extreme caution with which they cared for this par- 
ticular medicine, called for it and with suicidal intent calmly 
swallowed the entire contents of the bottle. The family, alarmed 
and momentarily expecting to see the doctor expire for his rash 
act, hastened for assistance and Doctor Robinson upon his arrival 
quieted their fears by explaining that the drug was only potent 
in the case of an ill man, but Doctor Weeden being in good 
health would probably suffer no ill effects until later. Doctor 
Weeden is still living in anticipation of the effects. 

Associated with Doctor William Robinson was Doctor Horatio 
Robinson, who married his daughter Mary Ann Robinson in Oc- 
tober, 1826. Doctor Robinson was the son of Philip and Mary 
Robinson, and was born in Lebanon, Conn., February 4th, 1804. 
He was a graduate of Berkshire Medical College (now extinct) 
and has practiced in Stonington, Conn., Westerly and in Auburn, 
N. Y., where he now lives. 

Doctor John G. Pierce was born in Lebanon, Conn., November 
4th, 1802, and was the son of John Leverett and Apania (Thomas) 
Pierce. He attended medical lectures at Yale College and began 
practice in Plainfield, Conn., later removing to Westerly, where 
he was married June 1st, 1840, to Sarah A. Babcock, a sister of 
Edwin and Horace Babcock, of Westerly. He remained in prac- 
tice some years, having his office in the Krebs House on Main 
street, and died there February 11th, 1861. 

Doctor Joseph H. Griffin, the eldest son of Doctor Stephen F. 
Griffin, having the misfortune to lose both parents in his boy- 
hood, was apprenticed by his guardian to learn the hatter's trade 
under Jerard Babcock of Stephentown, N. Y. He remained sev- 
eral months, serving his employer faithfully, yet longing all the 
time for an opportunity for greater educational advantages. 
After due deliberation on the subject he decided to give up the 
business and return to his home. At the age of eighteen years 
he entered the office of Doctor Daniel King as a student of 

(§^^yi^ 'i/t Q^^^ 




medicine. After five years of close application to study, he en- 
tered Bowdoin Medical College, from which he returned to his 
native town and entered into partnership with Doctor King. At 
the close of the second year Doctor King retired from the prac- 
tice of medicine, leaving the business in the hands of Doctor 
Griffin. Doctor Joseph H. Griffin was married, November 3d, 
1834, to Miss Abby C. Hoxsie of Norwich, Conn., daughter of Cap- 
tain Hazard Hoxsie, formerly of Charlestown, R. I. Three chil- 
dren were born to them, one daughter and two sons. The study 
of medicine did not wholly engross his mind ; scientific subjects, 
enjoyed only by those who are earnest seekers after knowledge, 
had charms for him. He was a life long student, and was often 
heard to lament not having had the opportunities the present 
generation enjoy for acquiring an education. When in the 
presence of men of high literary attainments he treasured in the 
storehouse of memory every word falling from their lips, as 
precious pearls. During a period of twenty-seven years he kept 
a diary, noting all cases of importance coming to him for treat- 
ment, symptoms and prescriptions for each day, name of patient, 
etc., which he considered of importance, thereby keeping his 
memory refreshed and ready to treat other cases of like character. 
Having the full confidence and esteem of the people, he was ap- 
pointed to fill many positions of responsibility in the town. He 
held the office of justice of the peace twenty-five years in succes- 
sion, and was also appointed Indian commissioner by the gov- 
ernor of the state, which office he held for several years. To him 
belonged the honor of raising the standard of the public schools 
of the town from a very low condition to one of excellence. After 
serving four years as a member of the school committee, sixteen 
pupils were prepared as teachers from one district. Many of the 
young men of that town who have taken good positions in life 
said, " I owe to Doctor Griffin the first inspiration I received to 
strive for an education." A public library was established and 
maintained in the town almost wholly by his exertions, no labor 
being' considered too great when the educational interests of the 
community demanded his services. He was not physically strong, 
suffering for many years from dyspepsia. Realizing that his infir- 
mities were increasing upon him he decided to give up his exten- 
sive business and seek a field of labor which afforded time for 
rest much needed by him. He moved to Westerly in May, 186'J, 
still continuing to follow his profession. 



In 1876, becoming very much debilitated, he was advised to 
change the scene by traveling. Accompanied by his wife he 
visited California and all cities of importance on the route, de- 
riving great benefit from the. trip, and returning to his home 
seemingly restored to usual health. Having a retentive memory 
and fine conversational powers, it gave him great pleasure to 
describe to his friends different sections of the country visited 
by him. Every incident that occurred, every place visited, was 
so distinctly described that the listener could clearly understand 
the situation, having it brought, as if by magic, distinctly before 
him. In 1878, health again failing him, he thought once more 
to change the scene. With wife and daughter he visited Stephen- 
town, the early home of his father, then traveled on to Montreal, 
Quebec, Portland and Boston, remaining in each city long 
enough to visit all places of interest. The trip was of seeming 
benefit to him for a few weeks, but the energies of life gradually 
leaving him, it became painfully evident to friends and family 
that the end was approaching, and he fully realized himself that 
life for him was near its close. He lingered until June 27th, 
1879, retaining full possession of his mental powers until death 
released him from all suffering. 

Doctor Henry Aldrich, of Wyoming, son of Doctor John Al- 
drich, was a physician of the older school and was widely known 
throughout Rhode Island. He was born in the town of Kings- 
town in 1802 and died May 8th, 1886. He received his early ed- 
ucation in Rome, N. Y., and after receiving his degr'ee of M. D. 
began the practice of medicine at Escoheag Hill in the town of 
Exeter, where he speedily gained a lucrative practice. After 
about ten years in this locality he removed to what is known as 
the Ten Rod road, and there had his home and office in the so- 
called Rathbone place, where he remained in practice until he re- 
moved to Brands Iron Works, where he died in 1886. Doctor 
Aldrich was a physician of excellent judgment and liberal learn- 
ing, and his practice extended far beyond the bounds of his 
country home. Personally he was affable and fond of pleasant 

George Hazard Church, M. D., a physician of some celebrity in 
Washington county, was born in the town of South Kingstown, 
R. I., in 1798, and was named by Doctor Hazard, who gave him a 
crown for his name. Doctor Church began his medical studies 
in Hampton, Conn., and took the degree of M. D. from Yale Col- 




lege, New Haven, in. the spring of 1824. After his graduation he 
settled in Wickford and began the practice of medicine, which 
he continued very successfully until his death, which occurred 
January 3d, 1871, a period of nearly fifty years. His practice 
was very large and embraced a territory many miles in extent. 
Besides discharging his professional duties as a practitioner of 
medicine. Doctor Church took a very active part in all public 
spirited movements. He took a great interest in the success of 
public schools, and for several years was one of the town exam- 
ining committee, and was also one of the trustees. He was iden- 
tified with the Baptist church and was associated with it as one 
of the leading members until his death. He was town treasurer 
of North Kingstown for a number of years, and also a member 
of the state legislature for a term of years. He took an active part 
in the cause of temperance, and his house was always a welcome 
home for nearly every minister and school teacher, as well as 
political and temperance lecturer who came to Wickford. The 
popularity of Doctor Church was in part owing to the fact that 
he was always ready and willing to aid and do what he could for 
everybody. In politics he was a Jackson democrat until the re- 
publican party was formed, when he pronounced himself a mem- 
ber of that organization. He was a radical anti-slave man. At the 
breaking out of the rebellion Doctor Church gave much of his 
time and took an active part in raising troops for the army, ren- 
dering great service to the government. 

He was the father of the Elm Grove Cemetery, and had it not 
been for his almost superhuman efforts this beautiful place of 
burial might not have been secured. The question of locating 
a town cemetery in North Kingstown had been agitated for sev- 
eral years prior to 1851. During this period Doctor Church was 
indefatigable in his efforts to attract public attention to this sub- 
ject, a subject which was emphasized by the neglected condition 
of most of the private burial places throughout the town. Robert 
Rodman and a few others finally added their influence to the 
doctor's efforts, and it resulted in the organization and charter of 
the Elm Grove Cemetery Association, and the purchase of the 
beautiful rural site now the resting place of the dead at 

Doctor Church was married in 1824 to Miss Maria Burnham of 
Hampton, Conn. By this union Doctor Church became the father 
of six children, namely : Alphonso, born 1825 ; George H., Jr., 


born 1830, killed at Newbern, N. C, March 14tli, 1862, in the war 
of the rebellion ; Charles H., born in 1833; Samuel B., in 183;"); 
Maria B., 1837, and Phebe, the youngest child, born in 1839. 
Alphonso Church was educated as a druggist in Boston, and for 
twenty years he carried on the drug business in the village of 
Wickford until he was succeeded by his brother Charles H. 
Church in 1874. Charles H. Church, the proprietor of the drug 
store at the present time, was town collector of taxes, and subse- 
quently town treasurer of North Kingstown, and filled both 
offices for a term • of years. He was married to Miss Hannah 
Stanton Sweet in 1861. She died in 1873, and left one son, George 
H. Church, second, who died in 1882; also a daughter, Julia S. 
Church, now residing with her grandmother, J»Irs. Doctor George 
H. Church, of Wickford. The present Mrs. Charles H. Church 
is Anna E., daughter of the late AVilliam Page, of Glocester, 
Rhode Island. 

Among the physicians of this county who saw active service 
during the war of the rebellion was Doctor William Torrey 
Thurston, a son of John Thurston, of Newport, R. I., and Mary 
Ann Bruce, who was born in the West India Island of St. Kitts 
July 14th, 1805. He was married March 15th, 1832, to Caroline 
Thurston, daughter of Governor Jeremiah Thurston, of Hopkin- 
ton, R. I., and received his medical education at the University 
of New York where, under Doctor Mott's preceptorship he grad- 
uated in 1829. Doctor Thurston's first practice was at St. Kitts, 
later in Portland, Me., and then he removed to AVesterly. Oc- 
tober 4th, 1861, he enlisted as surgeon of the First Light Artil- 
lery, joined the Army of the Potomac and served under General 
McClellan. He was in active service throughout the Peninsu- 
lar campaign and was present at the battles of Seven Pines, Five 
Oaks, Peach Orchard, Malvern Hill and at Savage Station, where 
he was severely wounded, receiving a fracture of the skull. Af- 
ter a furlough he rejoined the army at the second battle of Bull 
Run and thence went with McClellan to South Mountain, where 
owing to his wounds and the excessive fatigue to which he had 
been subjected, he was unable to continue and was placed in 
charge of the Federal Hospital of Frederick City. Subsequently 
he was detailed to Portsmouth Grove where he remained till the 
close of the war. In 187(» he was appointed superintendent of 
the Rhode Island Hospital, which position he held until 1882, 
when infirmities of age compelled him to retij-e from active bus- 


iness. During- the later years of his life Doctor Thurston was 
almost wholly deaf from the effects of the wound received in 

Doctor John B. Rose, a son of Thomas Rose, and a direct de- 
scendant on his mother's side from Doctor Joshua Perry, an uncle 
of Commodore Perr}^, was born at what is known as Moorsfield, 
where he lived until the death of his father, when he found a 
home with his grandfather, John Rose. He attended school at 
Kingston, obtained a good education, and at twenty began the 
study of medicine under Doctor Peleg Johnson, completing his 
medical course by attending lectures in Boston under Doctors 
Biglow and Warren, and later took a course of lectures in Provi- 
dence. He first began practice on Block Island, being the only 
physician there, but at the end of a year he removed to Westerly, 
where he was in successful practice for three years, and then re- 
moved to Lebanon, N. Y., where he married, in 1837, Julia A. 
Carter, a daughter of Judge Carter, of that state. In 1848 he re- 
turned to South Kingstown and settled in Wakefield, where he 
practiced for over thirty years. In addition to his skill as a 
physician Doctor Rose had the reputation of being an excellent 
surgeon, and his practice extended over the greater part of 
Washington county. He was a man of wonderful physical en- 
durance, and was never deterred from attending a summons even 
in the most inclement weather. His manner in the sick room 
was cheery and comfort giving. 

Doctor John E. Weeden, of Westerly, was born in South Kings- 
town, R. I., October 7th, 1807, and was the son of Wager Weeden 
and Sarah (Hull) Weeden. Doctor Weeden was married, No- 
vember 26th, 1833, to Eliza Cross. Under the direction of Wil- 
liam Turner, M. D., of Newport, Doctor Weeden gained a medical 
education which was completed by a course of lectures at Bowdoin 
College and two courses at the University of Pennsylvania, where 
he graduated in 1833. Doctor Weeden commenced practice in 
Bristol, and later, in 1835, moved to Westerly, R. I., and remained 
in active practice until 1859. 

Of the physicians who have practiced in Kingston, no one has 
left a larger circle of friends and a better reputation as physician 
and man than Doctor Thomas Arnold Hazard, who was born at 
Jamestown, R. I., September 30th, 1813, the son of Arnold Hazard 
and Hannah Watson. Doctor Hazard studied at the Kingston 
Academy before beginning the study of medicine, and at that 


time, and during the whole of his professional career, he lived 
in the family of the late Philip Taylor and his son, John M. Tay- 
lor, and during the whole of his professional life his office was 
in the same building. He attended one session of lectures at 
Bowdoin College and three at the University of Pennsylvania, 
where he was graduated in 1835, and settled in Kingston in May 
of the same year. His death occurred after a very short illness, 
December 8th, 1886. Doctor Hazard was very prominent in town 
affairs and was town physician for twenty years, being elected 
at various times from 1838 to 1863. He was town treasurer dur- 
ing the difficult period of the rebellion, when his financial ability 
saved the town many hundreds of dollars. He was many years 
member of the school board of trustees for the district of Kingston, 
and a longtime trustee of the Sewal School Fund, established in 
1695, and was director of the Kingston National Land-Holders' 
Bank and of the Kingston Savings Bank. During the fifty-one 
years and seven months in which he was in active practice he never 
took a vacation from work of more than one week, and that only 
at rare intervals. His mother died at the age of ninety-four years 
when the doctor was over seventy-two, and her death was a 
severe blow to him, and from it until his death he failed in a 
marked degree. He was the last of his family, and with him 
the name, so far as that branch is concerned, expires. Of large 
and commanding presence and slow and confident speech, his 
mere presence in the sick room was a benefit and a comfort to 
the invalid. His materia mcdica was not extensive but those 
remedies which he did use he used skilfully. Upon his death 
it was said of him, " To each one of a large circle of friends 
this loss seems personal. He was a man of few words, cheerful 
appearance and ready wit. His familiar presence is gone, but 
his memory will long be cherished in the public mind." 

Doctor William H.Wilbur was born in Hopkinton March 10th, 
1816, and was the son of John and Lydia (Collins) Wilbur. 
He received his early education in the public schools of his 
native town and completed his academic course at the Friends' 
school in Providence. He began the study of medicine with 
his brother. Doctor Thomas Wilbur, of Fall River, Mass., and 
graduated from the University of New York in 1847. Doctor 
Wilbur immediately went abroad to perfect his knowledge of 
the particular form of treatment known as the water cure, and 
after studying some time in Germany he returned to this country 




and established a water cure in Pawtucket, which he maintained 
for two years. Atignst 20th, 1849, he was married to Eliza S. 
Mann, daughter of Major T. S. and Eliza S. Mann, by whom he 
had three children. Leaving Pawtucket he came to Westerly, 
where he remained in practice until 1862, when he entered the 
war as surgeon of the First Rhode Island Cavalry. He was with 
his regiment at Chancellorsville and Middleburg, serving with 
honor and distinction, and after the war returned to Westerly, 
where he resided until his death, which occurred October 12th, 
1879. Of Doctor Wilbur's character and life work nothing more 
fitting can be said than the following tribute paid by a personal 
friend after his death : " At the close of the war Doctor Wilbur 
resumed his practice in Westerly, and here after all must be said 
his life work was done. Deeply absorbed in his profession and 
having a just estimate of its high mission, he gave to it the full 
wealth of his knowledge, his experience and his life. He was 
exact in his habits of thought, methodical in his investigations, 
studious in keeping pace with the progress made in the science 
of medicine, holding his opinion tenaciously when matured, and 
being thus critical and thorough in his own culture, he was in- 
tolerant of pretense and sham in others. He was too human to 
be faultless, yet where sickness and sorrow dwelt there could his 
ministering hand be felt. Such was the sympathy and tender- 
ness of his nature that he allowed no pecuniary considerations to 
swerve him from what he deemed his professional duty. Holding 
high rank as a surgeon as well as a physician, he has spent his 
life in the community responding to the call for help without 
regard to the source from which it came, and by skill restoring 
health and happiness to many homes." 

Edwin Ransome Lewis, M. D.,born in the town of Hopkinton 
on the 31st of January, 1827, was the son of Christopher and 
Wealthy (Kenyon) Lewis. He pursued the elementary branches 
of study at the district school, and then assisted his father in the 
work of the farm. Desiring to fit himself for one of the pro- 
fessions, he chose that of medicine, and after a period of study, 
he became a student at the medical college in Castleton, Vermont. 
Meanwhile he returned and sought employment as a teacher 
that he might defray the expenses attending a complete course of 
lectures. From this institution he was graduated in 1850. Doctor 
Lewis at once began his professional career at Niantic, Rhode 
Island, remained one year at this point, and in 1852 removed to 


Westerly, where the subsequent years of his life were passed. 
Here he at once established a successful and growing practice, 
and soon numbered among his patients many of the leading 
families of the town, who welcomed to their homes not less the 
genial and kindly gentleman than the skillful practitioner. Doctor 
Lewis's preparation for the duties of his profession was thorough. 
His mind was alert and quick to discern the condition of a pa- 
tient, hence his diagnosis was rapid and equally correct. To his 
native gifts was added a mature knowledge, broadened by careful 
reading and large experience. His sympathies were warm, his 
daily life full of the gentlest humanities, singularly free from 
envy, and with an expansive charity that embraced all mankind. 
Thus his manhood was passed in the practice of those virtues 
which are conducive to vigor of mind and body, and which, 
united, form the basis of a harmonious and beautiful character. 
He was largely instrumental in the formation of the Washington 
County Medical Society, and was chosen its first president. 
Doctor Lewis, the year of his graduation (1850), married Louisa 
A., daughter of Deacon Cyrus W. Brown, of North Stonington, 
Conn. Their children are : Henrietta L., wife of Henry M. Max- 
son, of North Attleboro, Mass.; Edwin R., a practicing physician 
in Westerly, and Hannah B., deceased. The death of Doctor 
Lewis occurred June 13th, 1887. 

Doctor Edwin Anthony, son of Doctor Israel Anthony, was 
born at Usquepaug, June 9th, 1821, and was married July 30th, 
1843, to Mary E. Perkins, of South Kingstown, by whom he had 
three children. His early life was spent in his native place, and 
beginning the study of medicine under his father he graduated 
from Harvard Medical School in 1842, and immediately began 
a practice in Usquepaug, which soon grew extensively, and by 
reason of the large territory over which he was obliged to travel 
became very trying. In spite of the hard work incident to the 
pursuit of his profession, Doctor Anthony was a close student, 
and he kept himself well posted on current medical topics. His 
death occurred February 20th, 1869. 

Doctor Joseph D. Kenyon was the son of John Stanton Kenyon, 
who resided in Sterling, Conn. By his marriage to Hannah 
Wescot were seven sons and two daughter, as follows: Joseph D., 
Peleg, Oliver S., Stanton W., Stutley, Alfred, Sheffield, Eliza and 
Penelope, the last named daughter having died in early life. 
Joseph D., the eldest of these sons, was born September 16th, 


a^sd^^r^ -^ ^ 

,\KlUr'<fE, E. [ilEnSTADr, 




1792, in sterling, and died in Hopkinton on the 29th of June, 
1879. Thirsting for knowledge, he left home at the age of 
eighteen to seek an education, and at about the age of twenty- 
five, having taught at times, meanwhile, to replenish an ex- 
hausted purse, he graduated from Dartmouth College, and com- 
menced the study of medicine in South Kingstown, R. I. In that' 
town, in Westerly, and in Carlton, Massachusetts, were spent the 
first few years of his remarkably long career as a physician. 

Doctor Kenyon was twice married. . In 3824 he was united to 
Miss Frances W. Noyes, who died in 1828, leaving two children : 
Ann Frances, who married Doctor Daniel Lewis, and Elizabeth, 
who died in infancy. In 1829 occurred his marriage to Miss 
Lydia R. Noyes, whose children are : Harriet M. (Mrs. Edwin N. 
Denison), Sarah J. (Mrs. Thomas A. Barber), Emma E., John D. 
and William H. For more than sixty years Doctor Kenyon per- 
formed with great success, and over a broad range of country, the 
duties involved in his profession. He occupied a prominent 
place as a consulting physician, and was a welcome visitor in 
multitudes of homes where his skill had inspired confidence, and 
his genial nature brought sunshine into rooms of sickness and 
distress. While ministering to the bodies of those entrusted to 
his care he frequently sought to bring spiritual ministrations to 
the souls of the suffering ones. 

Doctor Kenyon was "a true gentleman, a gentleman of that 
old school of manners now fast passing away." For several 
years he was a teacher in the public schools of South Kingstown, 
and for a long time leader in the educational interests of Hop- 
kinton, superintending the schools and examining the teachers. 
He also served his fellow citizens in the state legislature, and 
was a member of the old state Board of Medical Examiners, at 
whose hands candidates for the medical profession sought their 
certificates. He was a devout Christian, diligent in business, 
fervent in spirit, exemplifying in his daily life the religion he 

John Denison Kenyon, son of the above, was born in the town 
of Hopkinton April 1st, 1834, and educated at the Westerly 
Academy and the De Ruyter Institute, in Madison county. New 
York. For three years he engaged in teaching in Westerly and 
Charlestown, meanwhile pursuing the study of medicine under 
the preceptorship of his father. His course was completed at the 
Albany Medical College, from which he was graduated on the 


22d of December, 1857. Dr. Kenyon returned to Hopkinton and 
became associated with his father in practice, which relation con- 
tinued for three years. Yielding to the urgent solicitation of 
many patients and friends he then located in Ashaway, in the 
same town, and has since made that the center of his field of 
labor. The doctor does not confine his professional calls to the 
immediate vicinity of his home, but responds to demands for his 
services which occur in Westerly and points more distant. His 
practice is large and has been from the first successful ; he is at 
present health officer of the town, member of the New York 
State ^Medical Society and the Washington County Medical So- 
ciety. He has been a director in the Ashaway National Bank, 
and as a democrat wielded a considerable influence in local poli- 
tics, having been the recent candidate of his party for election to 
the state legislature. He worships with the Seventh Day Baptist 
church, in which Mrs. Kenyon holds membership. Doctor Kenyon 
was, September 8th, 1877, married to Mollie A., daughter of Wil- 
liam P. Langworthy, of Alfred Centre, New York. Their only 
child is a son, Harold D., born December 26th, 1878. 

The fifth physician of the Collins family and the first to emerge 
from the shadow of Hopkinton and to locate in another township 
was Doctor Amos R. Collins, son of Amos and Sarah Collins, who 
was born at Westerly, May 10th, 1837, and married December 
18th, 1861, to Helen P. Chapin. Under the preceptorship of 
Doctor William H. Wilbur he graduated from New York Uni- 
versity in 1861. In his early life Doctor Collins was tramelled 
by family traditions and thought it necessary to begin practice 
in Hopkinton, but later he located in Westerly, where he has 
since been in continuous practice. During the last three years, 
in addition to his professional work he has been engaged in the 
life insurance business. Doctor Collins was one of the charter 
members of the County Medical Society, and its president from 
1887 to 1888. 

Another of the students of Doctor William H. Wilbur, who 
located in this county was Doctor Albert A. Saunders, the son of 
Elisha and' Bathsheba Saunders. He was born in Hopkinton 
October 6th, 1833. His medical lectures were attended at the 
Bufijalo Medical College, where he graduated in 1861. Begin- 
ning practice in Westerly in association with Doctor W. H. Wil- 
bur, he soon went to Carolina, where he has since been engaged 
in a successful and widely extended practice. His marriage with 


Martha G. Tucker occurred March 22d, 1866. Doctor Saunders 
is a member of the Rhode Island Medico-Legal Society and of the 
state and county medical societies. 

Samuel B. Church, M. D., of Wickford, received his education 
in the Washington Academy, after which he read medicine with 
his father. He attended lectures at the Bellevue Hospital Medi- 
cal College, New York, taking the degree of M. D. from that in- 
stitution in 1864. After graduation Doctor Church settled in 
Wickford, where he immediately began the practice of medicine. 
In 1868 he formed a partnership with his father and the two 
practiced together for two years, when the elder Doctor Church 
retired almost wholly from the active duties of his profession for 
the remaining years of his life, since which time Doctor Samuel 
B. Church has continued the practice of the profession, obtaining 
a good patronage in the meantime in the village and vicinity of 
his birth. Alphonso Church married a daughter of Colonel An- 
drew Litchfield, of Hampton, Conn. They have two sons, Edward 
A. and G. W. B. Church and one daughter, Carrie M., now Mrs. 
John W. Page. Doctor S. B. Church married Miss Sarah Boone 
HoUoway in 1860. She died in 1881, and left one son, Samuel B. 
Church, Jr. Doctor Church married for his second wife Miss 
Julia B. D. Hiorth. Doctor Church is town treasurer of North 
Kingstown, and is now in his second term of that office. Mrs. 
Phebe F. Church, now the widow of Thomas F. Church, late of 
Fort Hamilton, N. Y., has two sons, James C. and Charles W. 
Church, both attorneys in Brooklyn, N. Y. Maria B. Church, 
now Mrs. Thomas J. Hamilton, resides in the city of Provi- 

Doctor Elisha P. Clarke of Hope Valley was born August 17th , 
1833, in Westerly, and was the son of Robert and Dorcas Clarke. 
He was married, May 7th, 1859, to Nancie A. Davis. Attending 
college at Harvard, and later at the Maine Medical School under 
the preceptorship of Doctor Fletcher, he graduated in 1865. He 
practiced medicine in Milford, Mass., for a few months, and then 
entered the service, where for twenty months, until the close of 
the war, he was assistant surgeon of the Thirty-first Massachu- 
setts Volunteers. At the termination of the war he came to Hope 
Valley, where he has since remained. Doctor Clarke was elected 
to the state legislature from Hopkinton in 1878, and re-elected 
the following year. He was president of the County Medical So- 
diety in 1888, and was one of its earliest members. He was also 


a member of the State Medical Society. He has one son who is 
at present pursuing his medical studies at Harvard Medical 

John A. Wilcox, M. D., is a grandson of John Wilcox of Exeter, 
who married Mary Barber, whose death occurred in her one hun- 
dred and second year. Among their nine children was Abram 
Wilcox, a native of Exeter, from whence he removed to Con- 
necticut and became a manufacturer of cotton goods. His death 
occurred in 1866. Mr. Wilcox married Rebecca, daughter of 
Benjamin B. Sheldon, of South Kingstown. Their children were : 
Benjamin M., John A., Francis L., Eugene, William, Mary and 
Sarah, all of whom, with the exception of Francis L., survive. 
John A.Wilcox, the second son in order of birth, is a native of Gris- 
wold, Conn., where he was born April 23d, 1847. Here his early 
years were spent in the public schools, after which, for three 
years, he was engaged in mercantile pursuits in South Kings- 
town. His tastes, however, inclining toward a professional career, 
he chose that of medicine, and entered the ofhce of Doctor H. L. 
Stillman as a student. He attended lectures at the medical de- 
partment of Bowdoin College, Maine, and graduated from that 
institution in 1872. Doctor Wilcox began practice in the town 
of Charlestown, Washington county, and remained for eight 
years at this point, when Wakefield presented a larger and more 
attractive field. Here he has since resided, and by ability and 
great capacity for hard labor, secured a practice scarcely second 
to any in southern Rhode Island. Skill in diagnosis, together 
with sound judgment, devoted attention to his patients and 
fidelity to truth, characterize his professional record and cause 
his presence to be frequently desired in consultation. A demo- 
crat in politics and interested in public measures and improve- 
ments, he has invariably declined office. He is a director of the 
Narragansett Pier Electric Light Company. The doctor is an 
active Mason, and member of Hope Lodge, of Hope Valley Chap- 
ter, and of Washington Commandery of Newport. Doctor Wilcox 
was in 1866 married to Sarah A. Wells, daughter of Amos Wells 
of South Kingstown. 

Doctor Curtiss E. Marryott was the son of Reverend D. B. 
Maryott, formerly a pastor of the First Baptist church at Hop- 
kinton. He graduated at the University of the City of New 
York in 1866, and afterward practiced for five years on Block 
Island, and subsequently for a short time at Wakefield, and in 

i-t— «- 





Massachusetts. Later, in 1884, he removed to Wakefield, where 
he has since remained in practice. 

Doctor J. Howard Morgan, located at present at 43 High street, 
Westerly, was born January 30th, 1844, at Pendleton Hill, Conn., 
and is the son of John A. and Susan A. (Pendleton) Morgan. He 
is a graduate of the University of New York of the class of 1866, 
and was a student under Doctor W. H. Wilbur, of Westerly. Fol- 
lowing his graduation Doctor Morgan was from June, 1868, to 
April, 1869, an interne in the New York City Lunatic Asylum and 
from that date to April, 1870, in the Apoplectic and Paralytic Hos- 
pital. For nine years following he was engaged in private prac- 
tice in New York city, and in November, 1879, he removed to 
Westerly where he has since remained. It was while in New York 
that he was married, October 12th, 1875, to Phebe Anna Benjamin. 
Doctor Morgan served during the civil war as private in Company 
B (Westerly Rifles), Ninth regiment, Rhode Island Volunteers and 
as sergeant in Company H, Connecticut Volunteers. Doctor Mor- 
gan has been a close student and a voluminous reader, and has 
contributed several articles to the medical press, notably a paper 
published in the Philadelphia Medical Times on " Diphtheria. 
Some cases bearing on its mode of propagation," and " A case of 
Aneurism of the Descending Aorta producing Caries of Dorsal 
Vertebrae," published in the "Transactions of the Rhode Island 
Medical Society," Vol. II, part 6. In 1884 he was appointed med- 
ical examiner for the town of Westerly, and is a member of the 
Medico-Legal Society, the State Society and one of the founders 
of the County Society. Doctor Morgan has paid more particular 
attention to psychological medicine and nervous diseases. He 
is a pioneer in the use of the bicycle and has used it exclusively 
in his professional work during the last nine years. 

Doctor John Wilbur, son of Doctor William H. and Eliza Mann 
Wilbur, was born in Warwick September 20th, 1850. His early 
education was received in the public schools of Westerly, where 
his youth was spent, and was completed in the Friends' School 
of Providence. His medical knowledge was gained in study un- 
der the direction of his father and in attending the University 
of New York, where he was graduated in 1874, having during 
his college course served as demonstrator of anatomy in the Uni- 
versity of Vermont. In 1875 he began practice with his father, 
and with the exception of some time spent abroad he continued 
in practice until 1881, when he sold his business to Doctor H. J. 


Pomroy and began to travel about the country delivering so- 
called popular lectures and administering to the ailments of his 
hearers, in which remunerative but unprofessional career he is 
still engaged. 

Doctor John Hill Merrill was the son of Henry A. Merrill, a 
Congregationalist minister and in early life a student under 
Daniel Webster, and was born in Norway, Me., in January, 1834. 
His mother was Abigail Russell, whose marriage with Henry A. 
Merrill occurred on June 12th, 1823. After attending the public 
schools of his native place, Doctor Merrill began his medical ed- 
ucation with a course of lectures at Harvard and graduated from 
the Albany Medical school in 1858. He immediately came to 
Westerly to assist Doctor William H. Wilbur, but three years 
later moved to Potter Hill. May 6th, 1860, he was married to 
Mary Anna Babcock, daughter of Daniel and Anna Alma Bab- 
cock. In 1862 Doctor Merrill enlisted as a private in the Rhode 
Island Light Artillery, Battery H. Upon reaching the seat of 
war he was speedily promoted to assistant surgeon and finally to 
surgeon-in-chief of the Artillery Brigade of the Second Army 
Corps. Vicissitudes of army life overpowered his health, and 
Doctor Merrill was forced to resign from active service in April 
before the war closed. Since that time, although an invalid and 
many times unfit for work, he has been in continual practice at 
Potter Hill. He has one son, John Jake Merrill. 

Of the physicians who have recently died. Doctor Henry New- 
ton Crandall was associated in a great degree with the later 
growth and prosperity of Westerly. He was born in De Ruyter, 
N. Y., July 13th, 1848, and was the son of J. Clark and M. Sa- 
mantha Crandall. His early life was spent upon the farm where 
he gained the advantages of an education afforded by the public 
schools. Later he pursued an academic course at De Ruyter In- 
stitute, and upon his graduation began studying medicine under 
Doctor Ira Spencer, graduating from the Jefferson Medical Col- 
lege in 1871. Following six months hospital practice in Phila- 
delphia he came to Stonington, Conn., where he was for a while 
assistant to the late Doctor William Hyde. In 1875 he came to 
Westerly, where he remained in continuous practice until his 
death, which occurred May 31st, 1888. Doctor Crandall married 
Clara Day Lewis, of Stonington, March 5th, 1872, by whom he 
had four children, one having died in infancy. Doctor Crandall 


was largely interested in the beneficiary insurance societies of 
Westerly, was a stockholder in the Westerly Water Works, and 
during- his last years of life had been interested somewhat in 
real estate ventures, having built several large tenement houses, 
notably one for six families, known as Newton Flats, the first 
house of the kind ever built in Westerly. He was a member of 
the State and County Societies. 

Doctor George C. Bailey, of Westerly, was born in Northamp- 
ton, England, in 1842, and is the son of Samuel and Mary Bailey. 
Coming to this country in early life. Doctor Bailey's youth was 
spent in New York state. He was married in April, 1868, to La- 
vantia Case, by whom he has one child. Doctor Bailey attended 
the University Medical College of New York and later the Long 
Island Hospital Medical College, and direct from college enlisted 
and served during the war as assistant surgeon in the Eighty- 
ninth regiment of New York Volunteers. After leaving the 
service he began private practice in Ashtabula, Ohio, and later 
practiced in New York state, coming to Westerly in 1874. 

Doctor Alexander B. Briggs, of Ashaway, is the son of Alex- 
ander and Mary (Burdick) Briggs and was born at Hopkinton, 
November 14th, 1850. His medical studies were prosecuted un- 
der the direction of Doctor J. H. Merrill, of Potter Hill, and he 
attended lectures at Harvard, where he graduated in 1872, at 
once beginning active practice in Ashaway. After his marriage. 
May 18th, 1874, to Ella M. Wells, the daughter of Dennison and 
Teresa (Green) Wells, he removed to Westerly, but after one 
year's work he returned to Ashaway where he now is. Doctor 
Briggs is a member of the State and County Societies and the 
Medico-Legal Society, and is the medical examiner for the town 
of Hopkinton. In 1887 he engaged in politics and was elected 
to the legislature. He was again elected in 1888 where he has 
taken a prominent part in the affairs of state as member of the 
committee on Special Legislation and the committee on Public 
Health. Doctor Briggs has four children. 

There have been at various times a number of physicians who 
have made their homes at Narragansett Pier during the summer 
months. Among these, Doctor Charles Hitchcock practices in 
that place from May to October, during the other months of the 
year in New York city. He was born in Providence and was the 
son of Charles and Olivia Hitchcock, and was married to Frances 


Lapsley November 27th, 1872. He is a graduate of the College 
of Physicians and Surgeons of the class of 1872 and was a pupil 
of Doctor H. B. Sands. 

Doctor Etta Payne was the first woman who, as a regular gradu- 
ate of a recognized medical college, practiced medicine in the 
county, and she lived in Westerly for a short time about 1870. 

In 1872 Doctor Lucy Almy Babcock, a native of the county, 
tried and settled the mooted question, in so far as she was con- 
cerned, of woman's availability for the medical profession. She 
was the daughter of Oliver and Phebe Babcock, and was born at 
Potter Hill September 17th, 1834. She studied medicine under 
Doctor Amos R. Collins and her sister. Doctor P. J. B. Waite, of 
New York, and graduated from the New York Homeopathic Col- 
lege and Hospital for Women in 1873. She immediately settled 
in Westerly, where she has remained until recently, when poor 
health caused her to retire from active practice. 

Doctor John E. Perry, of Wakefield, was born in that town 
May 28th, 1847. He attended the public schools there and later 
graduated from the Connecticut Literary Institution at Suffield, 
Conn., in 1867. He studied medicine with Doctor George E. 
Mason of Providence, and attended for a time Yale College, sub- 
sequently graduating from the College of Physicians and Sur- 
geons in 1873. He immediately settled in Wakefield, where he 
has since remained. He has been for several years town physi- 
cian of South Kingstown and district physician for the District 
of Narragansett. He is a member of the state society. 

Doctor S. Oscar Myers was born at Barnerville, Schoharie 
county, N. Y., April 30th, 1847, and is the son of Peter and Fanny 
Myers. He gained his medical education at the medical depart- 
ment of Union University, Albany, N. Y., and graduated from 
that institution in 1874. Doctor Myers first located in Bay Ridge, 
L. I., then very sparsely settled and waited for the city to grow; 
but it was not apparently a fertile community, and in 1879 he re- 
moved to Wickford, where he has since been in successful prac- 
tice. He was married April 30th, 1879, to Jessie E. Blair. Doctor 
Myers has been prominent in town matters and has been for 
some years town treasurer of North Kingstown as well as the 
superintendent of schools, and is the medical examiner for the 
Fourth District. Doctor Myers is also prominent in church 
affairs, and is one of the vestrymen of the Episcopal church in 


Wickford. He is a member of the Rhode Island State vSociety, 
the Medico-Legal Society, American Medical Association and the 
Washington County Medical Society. As his practice has in- 
creased Doctor Myers has paid more special attention to Gyne- 

Doctor James Noyes Lewis is the son of Doctor Daniel Lewis, 
who for some time practiced medicine in Hopkinton, and Ann 
F. Kenyon. He was born in Stonington, Conn., October 30th, 
1849. Doctor Lewis is descended on his mother's side from Doc- 
tor Noyes, the first physician to practice medicine in the county. 
He was married, November 28th, 1876, to Lois Clark. Studying 
medicine under the preceptorship of Doctor John D. Kenyon, he 
graduated at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1874, 
since which time he has practiced in Wyoming, R. I., Killingly, 
Conn., and Ashaway, R. I. He is a member of the County 

Henry William Rose, M. D., is the eldest son of William and 
Theresa Rose, who emigrated from Prussia to the United States 
and settled in JvTew York. Their children were one son, the sub- 
ject of this biography, and three daughters — Theresa, Mary and 
Delia. Henry William Rose was born in New York on the 13th 
of April, 1849, and was educated in the public schools of the city. 
At the age of fourteen he entered a drug store, became thor- 
oughly conversant with the compounding of medicines, and con- 
tinued thus engaged until 1867. Having a strong predilection 
for the medical profession, he began his studies under Doctor 
Herman Baalon, and at the same time entered the Bellevue 
Hospital Medical College as assistant in the Out-Door Poor De- 
partment. Subsequently accepting a position as apothecary in 
the Infants' Hospital of Ward's Island, he acted in that capacity 
until the resumption of his former business, that of druggist, 
one and a half years later. Establishing the firm of Jones & Rose, 
he continued until 1872 to be interested in two stores in Brooklyn. 
He graduated in 1876 from the Homeopathic Medical College in 
New York city, and was for six years engaged in practice in 
Brooklyn, E. D. From its infancy Doctor Rose was interested 
in the Brooklyn, E. D., Dispensary, of which he is a life member, 
and was later made its superintendent with a staff of fourteen 
physicians under his immediate supervision. He was also con- 
nected with the Kings County Medical Society. In the fall of 
1878 Doctor Rose removed to Westerly, having succeeded to the 


practice left vacant by tlie decease of Doctor L. A. Palmer. His 
careful study of the science of medicine, and the wide hospital 
experience he enjoyed in New York city, enabled him not only 
to hold the practice of his predecessor, but to materially increase it. 
It is chiefly confined to the village of Westerly, and while not in 
any sense a specialist, the doctor has given much attention to 
diseases of women and children. He was appointed by the gov- 
ernor a member of the state board of health, and was active in 
establishing the department of health for the town of Westerly, 
of which he is the present superintendent. He was also surgeon 
to the Third Battalion Rhode Island Militia until the disbanding 
of that organization. He is a member of the Rhode Island 
Homeopathic Medical Society. Doctor Rose is an active re- 
publican in politics, but has never desired office. He is a member 
of the American Public Health Association and the American 
Institute of Homeopathy. He is connected with the Masonic 
fraternity and orders of a similar character. He is also a mem- 
ber of Christ's Protestant Episcopal church of Westerly. Doctor 
Rose was, on the 5th of December, 1872, married to Josephine, 
daughter of Benjamin and Caroline (Furnald) Armstrong of 
Brooklyn. Their children are two daughters, Mabel and Jose- 

Doctor George H. Beebe was the son of J. F. Beebe and Sarah 
(Whitter) Beebe, and was born February 1st, 1855. He was mar- 
ried to Mary E. Lewis April 29th, 1879, having completed his 
education and graduated in medicine from the University of 
New York in 1878. He first practiced in Pontiac, 111., then in 
Charlestown, R. I., and later removed to Guilford, Conn., where 
he now is. While residing in the county Doctor Beebe was a 
member of the County Society. 

Doctor Alvin H. Eccleston is the son of Alvin H. and Harriet 
(Brockton) Eccleston, and was born in Stonington, Conn., April 
28th, 1858. He graduated in medicine from the Albany Medical 
College in 1880, and the same year began practice in Charles- 
town. Doctor Eccleston was married December 28th, 1879, to 
Jennie A. Taylor. In 1883 he removed to Wood River Junction 
and has since remained in that locality, although in the interval 
his office has been removed to Plainville. He has been a mem- 
ber of the town council since 1886, and like Doctor Briggs, hun- 
gering for the strife of political life, he was elected to the legis- 
lature in 1888. Doctor Eccleston is also a member of the town 


school committee and superintendent of health, and is one of the 
surgeons of the N. Y., P. & B. R. R. He is a member of the State 
and County Medical Societies. 

Doctor George Vickery Foster, the son of George and Clara 
Foster, was born in Flushing, L. I., in 1855, was married, in 1880, 
to Anna C. Browning, and in 1881 graduated in medicine, after 
attending lectures at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, at 
Dartmouth Medical School. He began practice in Westerly and 
remained there till 1885, when he removed to New York city, 
and has since then had his office in the Florence House, 109 East 
Eighteenth street. Doctor Foster was one of the founders of 
the Washington Medical Society, and is now a member of the 
New York State Medical Association, New York County Medical 
Association and Rhode Island Medical Society. He has spent 
some time abroad engaged in study. 

Doctor George F. Bliven, the son of George W. and Harriet E. 
Bliven, was born January 17th, 1857. Doctor Bliven received 
his medical education at the University of New York, where, 
under the preceptorship of Doctor H. N. Crandall, he graduated 
in 1881. He did not practice medicine long, and after some time 
in association with Doctor J. H. Morgan, of Westerly, he entered 
the office of Spencer Trask & Co., of Providence, R. I., and is 
now cashier in that bank. 

Doctor Edward E. Kenyon, the son of Alfred and Susan M. 
Kenyon, was born in Richmond, R. I., September 28th, 1859. 
From his academic course in the schools of his native place he 
began the study of medicine with Doctor H. L. Stone and gradu- 
ated in 1880 with honors in one of the largest classes which ever 
passed from the University of Vermont. It was during his col- 
lege course that Doctor Kenyon was married to Ida May Ca- 
hoone, September 28th, 1879, taking advantage of the chance 
that occurs but once in a man's life time, that of getting married 
on his twentieth birthday. After his graduation he began prac- 
tice in Wyoming, R. I., and after a stay of two years removed 
to Usquepaug, where he is now residing. Doctor Kenyon is a 
member of the County Medical Society. 

Doctor Herbert J. Pomroy was born April 7th, 1856, in Lincoln, 
Me., and is the son of Gorham P. Pomroy, of Providence, R. I., 
and Abbie A. J. Gardner. The early education of Doctor Pomroy 
was gained in the public schools of the city of Providence, gradu- 
ating from the high school, and later attending Mowry & Goff's 


school of that city he spent a year in preparatory work, and im- 
mediately began the study of medicine at the Harvard Medical 
School, where he graduated in 1880. Following his graduation 
he served as interne in the Boston City Hospital for one year 
and then came to Westerly, assuming the practice until that time 
held by Doctor John Wilbur, who was removing from the state 
and giving up practice. Doctor Pomroy immediately entered 
into an exceedingly active and successful practice, in which he 
persisted until the death of his child, which occurred March 27th, 
1885, when he went to the State Insane Asylum at Cranston as 
deputy superintendent. The work here, however, proved irksome, 
and later he removed to Brooklyn, N. Y., where he practiced a 
year and then returned to Westerly, where he has been since in 
practice. He was married July 6th, 1881, to Mary T. Moore, 
daughter of Silas and Annie Moore, of Providence, and had one 
child who died from scarlet fever during the epidemic of that 
disease in Westerly in 1885. Doctor Pomroy is an active mem- 
ber of the County Medical Society, of which he is at present 
president, and of the State Medical Society, and is also a mem- 
ber of the Kings County Medical Society of New York. As a 
surgeon and as a specialist of nervous diseases Doctor Pomroy 
has gained an enviable reputation. 

Frederick T. Rogers, M. D., on the paternal side is the great- 
grandson of David Rogers of New London, Conn. A son of the 
latter, David P. Rogers, in early life a fisherman, later engaged 
in farming in the same county. By his marriage to Mary Ann 
Rogers were born a son, William A. Rogers, and a daughter, 
Julia, who became the wife of George H. Powers of New London. 
William A. Rogers was born in 1832, and graduated from Brown 
University in 1857. He took special courses in both Yale and 
Harvard Universities, being for several years professor of as- 
tronomy in the latter institution. In 1886 he accepted an ap- 
pointment as one of the faculty of Colby University in Maine. 
He received the honorary degree of A. M. from Yale University 
and of Ph. D. from Alfred University, where he had previously 
filled a professor's chair. He has been honored by membership 
in many of the most prominent scientific societies of America 
and Europe, and published more than forty monographs on 
scientific subjects. Professor Rogers married Rebecca, daughter 
of Isaac D. Titsworth, of Plainfield, New Jersey. Their children 
are : Frederick T., Arthur K. and Allerton, the last named son 
having died in early youth. 


Frederick Titsworth Rogers was born at Alfred Centre, N. Y., 
March 13th, 1859, and in 1869 removed to New Haven, where he 
remained one year, and has since that date been a resident of 
Westerly. After a preliminary course at the public schools, he 
continued his preparatory studies at a private school in Provi- 
dence, and in 1876 entered Union College, Schenectady, N. Y., 
from which institution he was graduated in June, 1880, with the 
highest honors. Determining upon the study of medicine, he, 
during the last two years, attended lectures and clinics at the 
Albany Medical College, and entering the Medical College of the 
University of New York, graduated in March, 1882, being 
awarded the first honor in a class of two hundred and sixty-eight. 
The doctor at once began his professional career in Westerly, 
where he has since resided. Here he very soon established a 
practice which has grown steadily in dimensions and been cor- 
respondingly successful in its results. Though not in any sense 
a specialist, he has given much study and attention to diseases 
of the eye and ear. He is a member of the Rhode Island Medical 
Society and secretary of the Washington County Medical So- 
ciety, which he was largely instrumental in founding. His re- 
ligious views are in harmony with the creed of the Seventh Day 
Baptist church, of which he is a member. In politics he endorses 
the platform and principles of the republican party, is president 
of the Young Men's Republican Club of Westerly, and was dele- 
gate-at-large to the Republican National Convention at Chicago 
in 1888. Doctor Rogers was, on the 15th day of November, 1882, 
married to Carrie E., daughter of Henry B. Gavitt, of Westerly. 
Their children are two sons, Robert Landon and Frederick 

Doctor Henry Kelby Gardner was born at Pawtucket, R. I., 
April 27th, 1857, and is the son of John and Ellen Gardner of 
that place. He was married April 27th, 1882, to Mary Penn Case. 
He graduated from the University of the State of New York in 
1881, having previously attended lectures at Bowdoin and Dart- 
mouth under the preceptorship of Doctor George D. Hersey, of 
Providence. Following his graduation he practiced for some 
time in Providence, later in Charlestown, R. I., and has recently 
removed to Wakefield, where he now is. Doctor Gardner is a 
member of the State Medico-Legal Society and of the County 

Doctor Philip Kittredge Taylor, the son of John Nichols Taylor 


and Kate Kittredge, was born at Kingston, April 28th, 1860. 
Doctor Taylor received his early education in his native place, 
later at Mowry & Goff's private school in Providence, where he 
was a fellow student with Doctors H. J. Pomroy and F. T. Rogers 
of Westerly, and attended lectures at the University of Pennsyl- 
vania, whence he graduated in 1882 with Doctor Thomas Arnold 
Hazard as his preceptor. From April, 1882, to August 1886, he 
practiced medicine in his native place, then removed to Wake- 
field, where he has since resided, covering in the two locations the 
town of South Kingstown and part of North Kingstown, Exeter 
and Richmond. While in Kingston he was in partnership with 
Doctor Thomas A. Hazard, which partnership lasted until the 
death of the latter. Doctor Taylor's maternal grandfather and 
great-grandfather were physicians of considerable repute, and 
from the early history of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, 
where they resided, it is learned that many of the name of Kit- 
tredge were known as successful physicians and surgeons, so that 
on his maternal side, like Doctor James N. Lewis, of Ashaway, 
his ancestry for several generations have been students of medi- 
cine. In spite of physical infirmity, due to lameness from infla- 
mation of the knee joint, which for a long time confined Doctor 
Taylor to the house, and for a longer time compelled him to 
walk with the aid of crutches, he has engaged in an active and 
extended practice, and is now from his persistent effort able to 
walk somewhat without crutches or cane. He is the medical ex- 
aminer for District No. 2, which position he has held since April 
1st, 1884. He is a member of the State and Medico-Legal Society, 
the New York Medico-Legal Society and the County Society. He 
is unmarried. 

Doctor William J. Ryan, at present located at 69 Main street, 
Worcester, Mass., was for one year after graduation from the 
University of Vermont in 1885 a practitioner of Westerly. He 
was born January 6th, 1863, and is the son of William and Eliza- 
beth (Fitzgerald) Ryan. During the year of his residence in 
Westerly Doctor Ryan made many friends, and will long be 
remembered by his fellow practitioners as an able and studious 
physician, as well as a jolly and genial companion, ever ready for 
joke, yet withal at the service of any who might need his pro- 
fessional attention. ' Doctor Ryan has never married, and in 
response to such an inquiry responds with characteristic frank- 
ness and old time jovialty, ''Ego nou sinitjunctus." 


Doctor Lorin F. Wood, the son of William Wood, of Medway, 
Mass., was born October lOth, 1852. Commencing the study of 
medicine under the direction of Doctor O. M. Barber of Mystic, 
he attended lectures at the New York Homeopathic Medical Col- 
lege, where he graduated in 1879. He was married July 20th, 
1875, to Abbie E. Bugbee. After his graduation he served a year 
and a half as assistant physician at the New York Homeopathic 
Medical Hospital, and later, nine months as assistant physician at 
the New York Opthalmic Hospital. Immediately after his hos- 
pital experience he removed to East Hampton, Conn., where he 
engaged in practice until January, 1887; when he removed to 
Westerly and associated himself with Doctor H. W. Rose of that 
place. The partnership lasted until 1888, when it was dissolved, 
each continuing in private practice alone. While in Connecticut 
Doctor Wood was a member of the Connecticut Homeopathic 
Medical Society. 

Doctor William James of Westerly was born in Voluntown, 
New London county. Conn., June 31st, 1860, and is the son of 
Charles and Bridget James. His early life was spent in Norwich, 
and for a long time he was in the office of that famous practi- 
tioner of that city. Doctor Patrick Cassidy, after which he at- 
tended the University of Vermont and graduated in 1886, and 
immediately began practice in Westerly. For the first two years 
of his residence in Westerly Doctor James had his office upon 
the Connecticut side of the river and has only lately become a 
full fledged citizen of the county, having removed his office to 
45 High street. He is a member of the County Medical Society 
and is as yet unmarried. 

Doctor John Champlin, No. 1 Granite street, Westerly, was 
born October 5th, .1863, in Westerly, and is the son of Samuel A. 
and Mary B. Champlin. Graduating from the High School of 
Westerly, in 1881, Doctor Champlin attended and graduated 
from Alfred University, Alfred Centre, N. Y. In 1883 he taught 
the public school in district No. 10 for a year while pursuing 
his medical studies under Doctor F. T. Rogers, of Westerly, and 
in 1884 he went to the University of the City of New York, where 
he graduated in 1886. Doctor Champlin immediately entered as 
interne in the Rhode Island Hospital, of Providence, R. I., where 
he was house surgeon for ten months, which, by the way, was a 
longer term of service than any previous officer had held, and 
house physician for four months. May 1st, 1887, he came to 


Westerly and opened an ofl&ce in his father's house, and has since 
remained in practice in that town. Doctor Champlin has paid 
especial attention to surgery. He is a member of the State and 
County Medical Societies. 

Doctor Edwin R. Lewis, the son of Doctor Edwin Ransome 
Lewis and Louisa B. Lewis, was born in AVesterly June 5th, 1865. 
Doctor Lewis' early education was gained in the public schools 
of Westerly, and from Mowry & Goff's school in Providence he 
went to the Harvard Medical School, where, after a four years' 
course he graduated in 1886. Immediately upon the death of 
his father he came to AVesterly and assumed the practice which 
he had left, and has since remained in the same location. From 
his college and hospital experience Doctor Lewis has paid par- 
ticular attention to diseases of the skin. He is a member of the 
Massachusetts State Society and of the County Medical Society. 

Aside from the foregoing physicians, concerning the lives of 
whom the author has been able to gain more or less definite data, 
there have been at different times other practitioners of whom 
little or nothing is known. There is in Wakefield, Doctor Hazard, 
the son of another physician, the sketch of whose lives we have 
been unable to obtain. Two physicians are also in the habit of 
practicing their profession at Narragansett Pier during the sum- 
mer months. Doctors Bache McE. Emmet and Smith St. Clair, both 
residents during the winter months of New York city. Doctor 
Birckhead of Kingston and Doctor Thomas M. Potter of Kings- 
ton have also practiced their profession in the county. 

From 1885 to 1887 Doctor H. A. Sherwood practiced medicine 
in Westerly. Doctor Sherwood came to Westerly from Ohio, and 
during the two years he remained in practice did considerable 
operative surgery, gaining for himself the reputation of a skillful 
surgeon. His health failed him and he removed to Ohio. Of him 
nothing definite as regards his family history is known. 

Doctor William A^. Philbrick practiced in Westerly for a short 
time after his graduation from Jefferson Medical College, having 
an office in the Lew House on Canal street. Doctor Philbrick's 
stay in Westerly was short, and upon his departure the writer 
lost trace of him and has been unable to gain more definite 
knowledge concerning his antecedents or whereabouts. 

Of Doctor Fletcher, who practiced in Westerly some thirty 
years ago, little can be learned. He had an office over Potter & 
Champlin's drug store, and at one time did an extensive practice. 


He went to the war in 1861. Doctor Wilbur lived and prac- 
ticed in Hopkinton for some years and was an uncle of Doctor 
William H. Wilbur. Doctor James C. Harris lived in Hopkinton, 
studied medicine and at once entered the war, and soon died 
from consumption acquired during the service. 

Doctor Robert K. Sunderland was born February 24th, 1815. 
He was married to Judith A. Hopkins in 1 853. She died, leaving 
two children— Harriet, who died in 1860, and Caroline E. In 
1865 he was married to Lydia Sheldon, who died, leaving one 
daughter — Harriet A. His present wife's maiden name was 
Mary Kenyon. Doctor Sunderland has practiced medicine thirty 
years. Prior to that he was a farmer and superintendent of a 
carding mill. 

Of other physicians who may have lived in this county the 
writer has been unable to gain information. 

Twice before the existence of the present Medical Society was 
there an attempt made to form a County Medical Society, but 
both were futile. In 1883, however, the need of some such asso- 
ciation became imperative, and Doctors E. R. Lewis, J. H. Mor- 
gan, George V. Foster and F. T. Rogers, at a meeting held at 
the house of the latter decided to form a so-called Clinical Club. 
Later it was decided to make it open to membership for any res- 
ident of the county, and January 31st, 1884, the first regular 
meeting of the Washington County Medical Society was held at 
the house of Doctor Edwin R. Lewis, with eight members pres- 
ent. The constitution and by-laws of the society presented by a 
committee, were adopted and the officers were chosen for the 
first year of its existence : President, Edwin R. Lewis ; vice- 
president, A. B. Briggs, of Ashaway ; secretary, F. T. Rogers. 
During the first year interest in the society increased as its value 
became apparent, and at the first annual meeting of the society 
which was held at the Dixon House, Westerly, January 15th, 
1885, the secretary reported that the membership had increased 
to fifteen. At the next annual meeting the membership had in- 
creased to twenty, an addition of five during the year. The 
growth of the society has continued until at the last annual meet- 
ing a total membership of twenty-seven was reported, leaving in 
the county only two regular graduates from a recognized medi- 
cal school who are not members of the society. 

Some idea of the value to the members of the society from its 
meetings may be learned from the fact that during the time of 


its existence there have been read before the society seventy- 
three papers inviting discussion, aside from the numerous cases 
reported and pathological specimens presented. Apart from its 
value from a professional standpoint, the social meetings and 
good cheer which prevail at the annual and quarterly meetings 
have done much to render the relations between the different 
members pleasant and friendly, as well as to enliven the other- 
wise tedious drudgery of a country practitioner's life. 

Physicians of Kent County. 

Thomas Spencer. — Thomas Aldrich. — Dutee Jerauld. — Joseph Joslyn. — Peter 
Turner. — John Tibbitts. — Charles Eldredge. — Lucius M. Wheeler.— Daniel 
Howland Greene. — James H. Eldredge. — Sylvester Knight. — Stephen Harrl-. 
— John J. W^ood. — John McGregor. — Job Kenyon. — Ira C. Winsor. — John 
Winsor.— John Matteson.— F. B. Smith.— M. J. E. Legris.— James B. Tilling- 
hast. — William J. Burge.— James Boardman Hanaford.— W. H. Sturtevant. 
— C. L. Wood. — E. G. Carpenter. — G. L. Richards. — Joseph Suprenant. — 
John F.Carpenter.— William Hubbard.— N. B. Kenyon.— Albert C. Dedriok.— 
Albert G. Sprague. — George T. Perry. 

Physicians of East Greenzvicli* — Among the immigrants to this 
country from old England were a goodly number of chirurgeons. 
John Greene from Salisbury, one of the first settlers of the town 
of Warwick, was a surgeon ; but among the fifty proprietors of 
the town of East Greenwich there was no physician, and in the 
early years of its history no one is spoken of as of that profession 
unless it might be Susannah Spencer, Elizabeth Pearce and sev- 
eral other women, as a jury decided a delicate question submitted 
to them by the public authorities, which proves that at this date 
(1684) these wise women were relied upon in such emergencies, 
and that there was no other physician here. 

Thomas Spencer, seventh son of John and Susannah Spencer, 
was born on the 22d day of July, 1679, as the record says, " the 
first English child born in this town." ]\Iarvellous powers in the 
healing art have been always attributed to the seventh son, and 
it may have been from this ancient superstition that Doctor 
Spencer was indebted for his title. That he was a man of re. 
spectable attainments is abundantly shown by the manner in 
which he kept the records of the town for thirty-nine years, from 

* By James H. Eldredge, M. D. 


1713 to 1752. He was several times sent as deputy to the general 
assembly, a local magistrate, and in the latter part of his life a 
member and recognized minister among the Friends, the pre- 
vailing denomination of Christians in this vicinity. Doctor Spen- 
cer built a large house on the hill near the village, near what is 
now known as the Bluff — a square structure with massive stone 
chimney, hipped roof and porch over the front entrance. Some 
of the windows had the small diamond panes with leaden sash. 
It had the great room and guest chamber over it of ample dimen- 
sions. In Doctor Spencer's time this house was famous for its 
hospitality, entertaining Friends in their regular visitations in a 
generous way, and this feature of the house was maintained by 
its successive occupants for two or more generations. 

Doctor Spencer's reputation as a physician does not appear to 
have been confined to this immediate neighborhood. A young 
man from Scituate, Thomas Aldrich, came to study medicine 
with him, and resided in his family, and married his daughter, 
and remained here all his life, succeeding him in his large landed 
estate and as a man of note in the town, although it does not ap- 
pear that he for any time practiced medicine. 

Doctor Thomas Spencer died in April, 1752, when he had 
nearly completed his seventy-fourth year. He was buried in the 
old Friends' meetinghouse yard near Pain's Mill pond. Accord- 
ing to the usage among Friends in those early days, no inscrip- 
tion was put upon the stone which marks his grave, and the 
precise spot is not now known. He was twice married ; his first 
wife dying in 1742 and his second in 1747. By his first wife he 
had two children, a son who died in early life and a daughter 
who, as has been stated, married Thomas Aldrich. Mrs. Aldrich 
had no children. 

Doctor Dutee Jerauld came from the town of Medfield, Mass., 
and settled in East Greenwich in 1742. Doctor Jerauld was of 
French parentage, but born in this country. His father was a 
physician and from him he received his medical education. When 
he came to this place he was about thirty years old. He married 
soon after he came here the daughter of Edward Gorton, of War- 
wick, near Gorton's pond. His house was near the corner of 
Queen and Duke streets, formerly known as the Goddard house, 
and later on as the Richard Edwards place. After living in this 
house for ten years or more he removed to a small farm in War- 
wick, on the Post road, midway between the villages of Appo- 


naug- and East Greenwich, probably for the convenieace of his 
practice in these places. Doctor Jerauld had a family of five 
sons and four daughters. His eldest son, Gorton, was a physician, 
and resided in the western part of the town of Warwick where 
he had a small-pox hospital. Another son, James, was for many 
years town clerk of Warwick. A daughter married Samuel 
Pearce of Prudence Island, and was the mother of the late Hon- 
orable Dutee Jerauld Pearce of Newport. Fifty years ago the 
name of Doctor Jerauld was often heard — his memory was very 
dear to many of the old people in this vicinity. He was kind 
and gentle in his manner, especially so in his intercourse with 
the sick. He wore the plain garb of the Friends, and in his 
latter years connected himself informally with that sect. When 
about eighty years old he was thrown from his carriage and re- 
ceived an injury to his hip from which he was ever after lame 
and disabled, and walked with difficulty with the aid of a crutch, 
but still rode about among his patients and friends giving them 
greetings and kindly advice without leaving his carriage, and re- 
ceiving from them such refreshment as it was the custom of the 
time to offer, and which his age and many infirmities seemed to 
demand. Many of his prescriptions and wise hygienic injunc- 
tions have been handed down through three or four generations. 
Doctor Jerauld was short and rather stout and of dark com- 
plexion. His countenance was distinguished by a mild black 
eye of very pleasant expression, recognized now in his remote 
descendants, and known as the Jerauld eye. He died in July, 
1813, in the ninety-first year of his age, and was buried on the 
farm where he resided, but the exact place of his grave is not 
now known. 

In the year 1770 Doctor Joseph Joslyn, a native of Scotland, an 
accomplished physician, came to East Greenwich through the 
influence of the family of Governor Greene and the Graves of 
Potowomut. He was not only esteemed as a physician but as an 
accomplished gentleman and considered a great acquisition to 
the social circle. Doctor Joslyn had hospitals for the inoculation 
and treatment of small-pox here and elsewhere in the state, and 
at times numbers of people came from a distance to place them- 
selves in his care to go through the modified form of this dread 
disease, as was then the custom, especially in the early years of 
the war of the revolution. The rambling old gambrel roofed 
house, about a mile from the village, called the Fry house. 


within twenty years destroyed by fire, and now replaced by a 
modern edifice owned by Mr. C. A. Sbippee, was one of these 

Doctor Joslyn married, soon after he came to the town, the 
widow of Archibald Campbell, and lived in the house which she 
owned on the main street. This house is still standing, repaired 
and modernized, and now owned by Dutee J. Babcock. The 
arduous duties and the convivial habits of Doctor Joslyn led to 
his early death at the age of forty-four in the year 1780. His 
body lies buried in the old Baptist cemetery on the hill near 
the railroad, near the graves of his fellow countrymen, the 

At the close of the revolutionary war, in 1782, Doctor Peter 
Turner established himself here as a physician and surgeon. 
Doctor Turner was the son of William Turner of Newark, N. J., 
and grandson of Captain William Turner, of Newport, R. I. He 
was born September 2d, 1751, married, in 1776, Martha, daughter 
of Cromwell Child, of Warren, and died in East Greenwich in 
February, 1822. His father died when he was very young and 
left him in the care of his brother-in-law. Doctor Canfield, with 
whom he studied medicine. At the commencement of the war 
he joined the army and was attached to one of the Rhode Island 
regiments (Colonel Greene's) as surgeon, and served until its 
close. He was no doubt led to settle here from the fact that he 
had made many acquaintances and strong friendships with per- 
sons from this town while in the army, and also from the fact 
that General James Mitchell Varnum, his brother-in-law, resided 
here at that time. Doctor Turner was the first medical man in 
this part of the state who had much experience in surgery, and 
coming so recently from the army inspired some little awe and 
apprehension among the good people of the county as they 
placed themselves under his care, lest he should take off an arm 
or a leg without so much as saying " by your leave." This soon 
wore off and he found himself engaged in an extensive practice 
reaching many miles into the country. He preferred very much 
the practice of surgery and was a bold and skillful operator. His 
manner was at times authoritative and severe, and when occasion 
seemed to require it, he could use strong language. If, at times, 
in his intercourse with the rude people of a town like this, he 
manifested a harsh temper, it was abundantly shown that he 
possessed tender feelings and refined and cultivated taste. His 


house, on the corner of Pearce and Court street, was in his day 
an attractive feature of the village. The porch in front was 
shaded by a grape vine, fragrant in spring and fall with blossom 
and fruit, the curiously paved yard, at the west, was filled with 
natural curiosities collected from sea and land, and the garden 
on the east was filled with rare flowers and choice fruits, the low 
fence allowing every passer-by to have a full view of their beauty. 

Doctor Turner was one of the founders of the Social Library, a 
valuable collection of standard English literature of the time, 
much read by the j'^oung people of the town more than half a 
century ago. During his residence here Doctor Turner had 
many students in his office, including the late Doctor William 
Turner of Newport, who was his nephew and son-in-law ; Doctor 
Tibbitts of Apponaug ; Doctor Tillinghast of Frenchtown ; Doc- 
tor King, a relative, who lived and died in Exeter in this state, 
and also his sons, Daniel, who removed to the South and died of 
yellow fever at St. Mary's, Georgia ; Henry, who left the pro- 
fession and removed to the state of South Carolina and died there 
within the last twenty years, and the late Doctor James V. Tur- 
ner of Newport. Doctor Turner was short and rather stout, 
and active in his movements. He wore a green shade over his 
right eye, of which he had lost the sight. He rode on horse- 
back to visit his patients, and always on the canter, carrying a 
cane pointed between the horse's ears. In this way he did a 
large business, extending for eight or ten miles in every direc- 
tion, over rough roads, in summer and winter, storm and sunshine, 
wearing himself out, in fact, so that he was confined to the house 
an invalid when but little over sixty years of age, and died, as 
before stated, February 14th, 1822, in his seventy-first year. He 
was buried with Masonic honors in a lovely spot called the 
" Grove," near the residences of Henry A. Thomas and General 
Chace. After lying here for many years his remains were taken 
to Newport and placed in the family burying ground of his de- 
scendants in that town. 

Doctor John Tibbitts, a student of Doctor Turner's, opened an 
office here in the early years of this century, and remained here 
for ten years or more, when he removed to Jewett City, in Con- 
necticut, to engage in other business. Not meeting with the 
success he had anticipated there, he returned to this state and 
settled down in the village of Apponaug in his native town of 
Warwick, where he remained all his life, dying in January, 1838, 


in his seventieth year. Doctor John Tibbitts was the son of 
Waterman Tibbitts, born on the Tibbitts farm in Warwick in 
1768, married in East Greenwich Susan Cook, a niece of Colonel 
William Arnold, who survived him for many years. 

Doctor Charles Eldredge came to this town in the autumn of 
1810, to fill the place left vacant by the removal of Doctor Tib- 
bitts. It was supposed at the time to be but a temporary engage- 
ment, but finding himself soon engaged in an extensive practice, 
owing to a malignant epidemic then prevailing in many parts of 
New England, and Doctor Tibbitts not returning as had been 
expected, the temporary arrangement became a permanent settle- 
ment which continued through the whole of his life. Doctor El- 
dredge was born in the town of Brooklyn, Windham county, 
Conn., July 31st, 1784, studied medicine with Doctor Thomas 
Hubbard of Pomfret, attended medical lectures in the University 
of Pennsylvania, and was for one season a resident student in 
the Pennsylvania Hospital. When he came here he was of ma- 
ture years, strong physique, in high health and with strong con- 
victions in all matters of public interest, and open and decided in 
his declaration of opinion. He soon became interested in all the 
affairs of the town, in its institutions of religion and learning, 
and in the business enterprises of its citizens, identified as one 
of its permanent residents. 

When he came here there was no other regular religious 
service than the meetings of the Society of Friends — " not 
a bell in the town," as I heard him say. He joined with the 
people in reorganizing the Congregational society, in rebuild- 
ing and refitting their meeting house, and in settling a minister, 
the Reverend Mr. Waldo, who lived to be a centenarian, 
and was made chaplain of Congress after he had passed his 
one hundredth year. He also became a trustee of Kent 
Academy and contributed to this institution. He was one of the 
original permanent members of the Society for the Promotion of 
Domestic Industry, and served many terms on its committees for 
awarding premiums. Reared on a farm, he retained all his life a 
fondness for agriculture and gardening, and did much in a prac- 
tical way in introducing improved methods of cultivating the 
soil. Although he could find time to interest himself in these, 
as it were, outside matters, the largest share of his time, his 
thoughts and his feelings were taken up with his professional 
duties. A disciple of Doctor Rush, his treatment of disease was 


somewhat marked by the teachings of that renowned professor 
in the University of Pennsylvania, and excited criticism and 
severe remarks from the physicians and more intelligent people. 
He soon, however, gained the respect of one and the confidence 
and esteem of the other. For the character and the teachings of 
Doctor Rush he always had the highest regard, and professed 
himself a follower of his school of medicine, but he was not a 
blind follower of any school or theory. His habits and powers 
of observation enabled him to notice and appreciate every variety 
which disease assumed. The epidemic tendency and influence 
of the season, the peculiar constitution and habits of the patient 
were always his careful study, and his prescriptions and treat- 
ment were carefully adapted to these conditions. Never hesi- 
tating to use potent means when the condition of the patient 
seemed to him to demand it, he was ever ready to trust to Nature 
when she was doing her work in the right way. He kept him- 
self well informed in the progress of medical science and every- 
thing new in the way of improvement which his judgment and 
experience approved he readily adopted, and firmly opposed 
whatever appeared to be a trifling innovation. His physical and 
mental qualities well fitted him for the practice of surgery, and 
although he did not devote himself to it as a specialty, his repu- 
tation and extensive acquaintance called him to all critical cases 
happening in a circuit of many miles. It was his pride to avoid 
rather than to perform heroic operations, and he often spoke 
with pride of the limbs he had saved by careful treatment and 
restored to use, after those frightful injuries which so often occur 
in our cotton mills. 

Doctor Eldredge was one of the original members of the Rhode 
Island Medical Society, always took a deep interest in its welfare 
and was its president from 1834 to 1837. He was an honorary 
member of the Connecticut Medical Society, and in 1835 received 
the degree of M. D. from Yale College. He died on the 15th of 
September, 1888, when he had but just completed his fifty-fourth 
year, and is buried in St. Luke's Cemetery, to which place his 
remains were removed after being first interred in the burying 
ground on the old Baptist Meeting House hill. 

Doctor Lucius M. Wheeler came to this town as a student of 
medicine in the office of Doctor Charles Eldredge in 1823 or 
1824, and resided in his family. After remaining here as a 
student for a year or more he attended a course of medical lee- 


tures in Philadelphia and then returned and settled here per- 
manently, having previously married, while a student, Patience, 
the daughter of Captain Perry Arnold. Doctor Wheeler was the 
son of Pascal Wheeler of Glocester, in this state. His early edu- 
cation was in his native town and in the city of Providence, and 
previous to coming here he had been a student in the office of 
Doctor Potter of Scituate. Doctor Wheeler had a mechanical 
taste and talent which he cultivated and exercised for his own 
amusement, and made quite a collection of curious appliances in 
the line of practical investigation. He was also successful in the 
cultivation of fruits and in farming in a small way. For some 
years, when in the prime of life, he had an extensive practice in 
this and the neighboring towns, and in the latter part of his life 
had an office in Providence, or visited the city regularly to attend 
to his professional engagements. 

Doctor Wheeler became a permanent invalid after a severe ill- 
ness which came upon him while on a visit to his daughter in 
Middletown, in Rhode Island, and although he partially regained 
his health, he was unable again to resume active business, and 
confined himself to his office business here and occasionally, as 
has been stated, visiting the city of Providence to attend to busi- 
ness there. Dr. Wheeler's first wife died within five years of 
their marriage, leaving two daughters, one of whom survives 
him. He married for his second wife Miss Abby Torrey, with 
whom he lived for more than twenty years ; third, Miss Rebecca 
Hawkins of Scituate, and fourth Mrs. Irwin who survives him. 
Doctor Wheeler died in August, 1880, in his eighty-first year, and 
is buried in the South burying ground near this village. 

Doctor Daniel Howland Greene, son of Howland and Nancy 
(Brown) Greene, was born in West Greenwich, R.I., on the 15th day 
of April, 1 807. He received his preliminary education in his native 
town at the Kent Academy, and at a select school in South 
Kingstown. He studied medicine with Doctor Caleb Fiske, a 
celebrated physician in the town of Scituate, attended a course 
of lectures at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, and with- 
out taking his degree began, in 1833, the practice of medicine in 
the village of Natick in the town of Warwick. He remained 
there for about eight years and then removed to East Greenwich, 
where he resided and continued the practice of his profession for 
the rest of his life. Doctor Greene adopted the practice of 
Homeopathy on the introduction of that dogma into the pro- 


fession,and announced himself a follower of Hahnemann, among 
the earliest of the disciples of that school, but he made very little 
change in his practice. He always, in his prescriptions, preferred 
the placebo to the more potent remedy, and he continued the use 
of opiates in various forms, sometimes in heroic and never in 
infinitesimal doses. From his natural temperament he avoided 
the practice of surgery and the sight of blood, which made him 
faint. He avoided, too, as much as possible, attendance upon 
severe cases of illness which were likely to prove fatal in his 
hands. He took no interest in the current medical literature, 
and, as he often said, rarely read a medical book. With these 
marked peculiarities, which he made no attempt to cover up, but 
in which he rather took pride, he yet had a large patronage in 
East Greenwich and the adjoining towns and in the remote parts 
of the state, as well as in the city of Providence, where he had 
an office which he visited daily. 

Doctor Greene had a taste for light literature, music and for 
art, cultivated in some measure in early life and pursued in his 
busier years for his own pleasure and amusement. He pub- 
lished in the East Greenwich local paper, the Pendulum, a series 
of articles on the manners and customs of the people of this 
neighborhood in the old colonial days and in the revolutionary 
times. This led to his preparing a history of the town in the 
centennial year (1876), a work which gave satisfaction to all par- 
ties interested, and which lent to his name fame and notoriety 
more than any other work of his life. The edition published of 
this local history became exhausted, and it was his purpose to pre- 
pare a new one at an early day with such additions and correc- 
tions as subsequent and more thorough investigations had enabled 
him to make. Doctor Greene was twice married : first, in 1833, to 
Jane,daughter of Doctor George Hazard of South Kingstown. She 
died in 1834, leaving a son who died in childhood. He afterward 
married Susan, daughter of Samuel Proud of this town. She died 
without issue. For several months previous to his decease. 
Doctor Greene had been in feeble health, growing more and 
more infirm, until he passed quietly from life on Saturday even- 
ing at eight o'clock, November 6th, 1886. 

James H. Eldredge, M. D.,the son of Doctor Charles and Han- 
nah (Child) Eldredge, was born in East Greenwich, in the house 
in which he now resides, on the 27th of May, 1816. His early 
education was at Kent Academy, under the preceptorship of the 




Honorable Christopher Robinson and at the select school of 
Charles W. Greene, Esq., under the tutorship of John Giles, A. M. 
He began the study of medicine Avith his father, spent a year at 
Yale for instruction in chemistry and physical science under 
Professor Silliman, and graduated in medicine at Jefferson Col- 
lege in Philadelphia in 1837. He assisted his father in his prac- 
tice for a year and a half, as long as his father lived, until Sep- 
tember, 1838. From that time he has been actively engaged as 
a general practitioner of medicine for more than fifty years, in 
the same office and residence, only on rare occasions, and then in 
the line of his duty, to attend some medical convention as a 
delegate, leaving his post, and never, up to this time, Dei gratia, 
off duty for a day on account of sickness. Doctor Eldredge was 
chosen vice-president of the Rhode Island Medical Society in 
1856, and held that of&ce for two years. In 1858 he was made 
president, and held that office for two years, and during those 
years was ex officio trustee of the Fiske fund. Since this time he 
has been a member of the board of censors of the above named 
society. Doctor Eldredge has been a member of the school com- 
mittee of his town for more than forty years, for twenty years as 
clerk, and for about the same time chairman of the board. In the 
spring of 1886 he was elected a member of the town council, and 
in 1887-8 he represented his town in the general assembly as 

Doctor Sylvester Knight was born in Cranston in 1787. He 
came to Centreville about the year 1806, and was married in 1808. 
He lived here about thirty years, practicing medicine, and a por- 
tion of the time was a partner with the late Doctor Stephen 
Harris, in cotton manufacturing at River Point. He finally gave 
up his profession and removed to Providence, and lived m the 
house next north of the custom house. He had an extensive 
practice, and was generally regarded as a judicious and skillful 
physician. He died in Providence, March 15th, 1841, aged 54. 
His first wife, Lucina (Comstock) Greene, died December 22d, 
1819, aged 32. There were four children by this marriage. His 
second wife, Louisa V., died January 3d, 1873, aged 71, by whom 
he had six children. 

Doctor Stephen Harris was born in Johnston, R. I., October 
29th, 1786. His father's name was Cyrus, " son of Caleb, son of 
Henry, son of Thomas, son of Thomas, son of Thomas." The 


latter person came from England and settled in Salem, whence 
he removed to Providence about the year 1836-7, and was a 
brother of William Harris, who figured prominently in early 
colonial times. On his way to England to attend to his affairs, 
the ship in which William was a passenger was captured by a 
Barbary Corsair, and he and the rest of the passengers and crew 
were taken to Algiers and sold as slaves. Caleb Harris, the 
grandfather of Doctor Stephen, was for awhile a judge of one 
of the courts of Providence county, and a man of acknowledged 
ability. The doctor received his education at Woodstock, Conn., 
and Brown University, though the death of his father prevented 
him from completing his course at the latter institution. He 
studied medicine at Dartmouth College and with Doctor Fiske, 
of Scituate, and commenced practice in Johnston about the first 
of March, 1808, and left there for Coventry, June 12th, 1809, and 
settled at the place now called Quidnick, boarding in the family 
of Theodore A. Foster, paying $2.50 per week for his board and 
that of his horse. The young aspirant for medical knowledge 
went to Dartmouth College on horseback in company with the 
late Doctor Andrew Harris, of Canterbury, Conn., this being the 
chief mode of taking long journeys at the time, though the 
" riding chair " was used to some extent. 

Doctor Harris married Eliza Greene, a daughter of Captain 
James Greene, December 3d, 1809. 

He afterward removed to Centreville, where he became asso- 
ciated in practice with the late Doctor Sylvester Knight, and 
erected a building near the bridge, which is still standing, in 
which not only drugs and medicines were kept for use in their 
own practice, but were dispensed to neighboring physicians, as 
they were wanted. They also kept a supply of groceries, etc. 
" The winters of 1816 and '17 and '18, he spent in Savannah, Ga., 
where he and Resolved Waterman established a commission 
house. On his return home he resumed manufacturing. He was 
a man of quick apprehension, observing at once everything 
amiss in his mills while passing hurriedly through them. It is 
said, he once put a shaving into* an imperfect joint, in the pres- 
ence of a negligent artizan, and by this silent reminder adminis- 
tered an effective rebuke. During his residence in Centreville 
he was one of the most cheerful and agreeable members of so- 
ciety. Mrs. Harris, his wife, died j\Iarch 23d, 1820. In 1822 he 
married Maria, the daughter of Edward Manton, who survived 
him. The doctor died October 10th, 1858, ao-ed 72." 


John J. Wood, Crompton, was another prominent man — an 
agent or superintendent of the mills for some years, and an 
active promoter of everything good in the village. He was a 
member of the Baptist church, and for some years its treasurer, 
of a somewhat cautious disposition but always ready to do more 
than he would promise. During the latter years of his life he 
kept a store in a small building that stood just opposite Mr. 
Booth's hotel. He died November 25th, 1860, at the age of 64. 
One of his daughters married the late Doctor William A. Hub- 
bard, who, for many years, was a practicing physician of the 
village. Doctor Hubbard was born in Killingly, Conn., educated 
at Pittsfield, 'Mass., and was a popular physician, having a large 
practice. He had several students of medicine at different times, 
among whom were his brother, the late Doctor Henry Hubbard, 
Doctor -McGregor, Doctor Card, of South Kingstown, and Doctor 
Pike, who settled in Connecticut. Doctor Hubbard died March 
1st, 1857, and lies in Point ■ Pleasant cemetery at Centreville. 
Another daughter married Honorable Charles T. Northup, chief 
state constable of Rhode Island. 

Doctor John McGregor, of Phenix, purchased a lot in No- 
vember, 1847, and employed John L. Smith to build him a gothic 
dwelling house. In the front of the upper part of the house was 
built a recess in which the doctor placed two images that at- 
tracted attention and many remarks ; after a few years they 
were taken away. He married Emily, the daughter of Wil- 
liam C. Ames, who died March 11th, 1855, in the 28th year of 
her age. After residing in the house for several years he 
moved to Connecticut and there married a Miss Chandler. When 
the war of the rebellion broke out he went as surgeon of one 
of the regiments and was captured and imprisoned. After 
being released he came to Providence impaired in health and 
commenced the practice of medicine. While riding along South 
Water street his horse became frightened at the cars and 
threw him out and the wheels of the cars ran over his arm 
and crushed it, and he never rallied from the shock, but died 
November 4th, 1867, aged forty-eight years, and was buried on 
the hill north of Phenix, beside his wife. His widow caused a 
granite monument to be erected to his memory. 

Job Kenyon, M. D., is a grandson of John Kenyon, who was 
of Welsh descent, and resided in Exeter, R. I., where he was a 
prosperous farmer. He was twice married, his second wife being 


Wealthon Reynolds. Their children were thirteen in number, 
among whom was Job, a native of Exeter, where his death oc- 
curred in November, ]820. The business of Job Kenyon was 
that of an inn-keeper. He married Elizabeth, daughter of David 
Benjamins, of Exeter. The children of this union were: Eliza, 
wife of Isaac Green ; Mary, married to William B. Wilcox of Nor- 
wich ; Henry B.,who died in 1835 ; Abby,whose death occurred in 
infancy ; Abby, second, also deceased ; Job, and Hannah, wife of 
Christopher Lillibridge. Job Kenyon, the youngest son, was 
born in Exeter on the 8th of July, 1821, and received, together 
with the other children of the family, such educational oppor- 
tunities as the common schools of the town afforded. The lad, 
however, possessed those qualities of mind and character which, 
when properly fostered and encouraged, develop a career of 
distinguished usefulness. He sought a field wider than was 
afforded within the compass of his home, and in 1843 began the 
study of medicine with Doctor Harvey Campbell of Voluntown, 
Conn. Subsequently entering the medical department of Yale 
College, he was graduated from that institution in 1846, and im- 
mediately began the practice of his profession at Carolina Mills, 
Washington county, R. I. Here he remained until 1853, the year 
of his removal to Anthony village, Kent county, of the same 

In 1869 the doctor erected a residence at River Point in 
the latter county, then unsettled and almost in a condition of 
primeval forest. Here he has since resided and continued in 
the practice of his profession. In 1864 he opened an office in 
Providence, which he still visits daily, and may be found during 
the morning hours. In August, 1862, he was made assistant 
surgeon to the Third Regiment Rhode Island Artillery, stationed 
at Hilton Head, South Carolina, and continued in the service 
until January of the following year, ill health then compelling 
his resignation. From 1865 until 1869 he filled by appointment 
the duties of physician to the Marine Hospital of that city. In 
1876 Doctor Kenyon sought relaxation from the arduous labors 
of an extensive practice in a trip to Europe. His visits to the 
foreign hospitals and acquaintance with eminent men of the pro- 
fession made it not less a tour of interest and instruction than of 
pleasure. The doctor has for many years had a wide field of 
labor, which has latterly from choice been somewhat diminished 
in extent. His large experience, well informed mind and con- 

• T^-ffTj^restoniC-^^Y. 

V CXx,t-cw77,^_v^ 


ceded ability have made him not only welcome but necessary to 
many families in the county. He is active in business affairs 
connected with the county, is a director of the Centreville Na- 
tional Bank and formerly filled the same office in the Coventry 
Bank. He was in 1871 appointed by Governor Padelford a mem- 
ber of the state board of charities and correction, and continued 
to hold the office until his resignation in 1884. He is a member 
and was for two years president of the State Medical , Society. 
In politics a republican, with independent views on the tariff 
question, he represented Coventry as state senator from 1865 to 
1869, and was elected to the same office from Warwick in 1874. 
Doctor Kenyon was married in April, 1854, to Phebe M., daughter 
of John Hoxie, of Richmond, R. I., who died in July, 1885. He 
was again married to his present wife, Sarah A., daughter of 
Joseph Sisson of AVarwick, on the 22d of January, 1885. 

Doctor Ira C. Winsor, M.D., of Coventry ,was a graduate of East 
Greenwich Academy, and was also a student in other institutions. 
He took the degree of M. D. from the Burlington Medical Col- 
lege, Iowa, in 1862. He then went to Rockland, and after a prac- 
tice of one year became assistant surgeon of the Ninth Regiment. 
In 1869 he came to the town of Coventry, where he remained till 
his death, Avhich occurred at Anthony in 1877. 

John Winsor, M. D., of Coventry, is located in the village of 
Anthon}', where he is also the owner of an excellent drug store, 
and is a registered pharmacist. He received a liberal education 
from high schools and other literary institutions, and took his 
degree of M. D. in 1865 from Berkshire Medical College, Pitts- 
field, Mass. After graduation he practiced about four years in 
Sterling, Conn., and then came to Coventry in company with his 
brother. Doctor Ira C. Winsor. Doctor Winsor is a member of 
the Medico-Legal Society, and is medical examiner of the towns 
of Coventry and West Greenwich. He established his drug store 
in 1878. He has represented his district in the state senate two 
years. He was married in 1878 to Carrie A., daughter of Daniel 
C. Bowen. 

Doctor John Matteson, of Anthony village, Coventry, was an old 
pupil under Doctor Job Kenyon, formerly of that town and now 
of Warwick. Doctor Matteson received the usual preparatory 
instruction required for the pursuit of the medical profession, 
and then graduated after a regular course of lectures from a 
medical college in New York in 1865, and afterward practiced 


with Doctor Kenyon until 1872. In 1871 Doctor Matteson went 
into the mercantile trade and soon thereafter gave up his prac- 
tice. He is known as one of the old and prominent merchants 
of the place. Asahel Matteson came to America in 1848, and 
soon thereafter bought an interest in the Coventry store. Henry 
Matteson went into business with his uncle about the beginning 
of the late war, and Doctor John in 1871. The store burned Jan- 
uary 18th, 1886. It was rebuilt in August of that year and is 
now occupied by John Allen. 

Doctor F. B. Smith was born at Columbus, Ga., in 1848, and is a 
son of Benoni and a grandson of John Smith. He took an aca- 
demic course at Moosup, Conn., after which he passed some time 
at Norwich, Conn., and graduated from the University of New 
York City in the spring of 1873. He began practice in the town 
of Coventry in the village of Greene, where he remained six 
years. He then came to Washington as successor to Allen Til- 
linghast, M. D., who retired at that time. Doctor Smith's practice 
has been unusually successful for a man of his years. He 
was married in 1879 to Eva H., daughter of Allen Tillinghast, 
M. D., who had practiced medicine here about thirty-six years. 
Mr. Smith is a member of the Baptist church of Moosup. He 
has been a strong temperance advocate. He is a member of 
Moosup Lodge, No. 113, F. & A. M. 

Marie Joseph Ernest Legris, M. D., is of French extraction, his 
grandfather having been Joseph Legris, whose son, Antoine, a 
farmer by occupation, resided in Louisville, Province of Quebec, 
Canada. The latter was the father of eleven children as fol- 
lows : Mathilde, Ovid, a manufacturer in Montreal ; Adele, Agapit, 
a parish priest in Webster, Mass.; Charles, a physician in Canada ; 
Hormidas, who resides on the homestead and is a member of the 
Canadian parliament ; Marie, Louisa, Annie, Zotique, an attorney, 
now deceased, and the subject of this biography. Marie Joseph 
Ernest was born in Louisville, Quebec, on the 8th of May, 1857, 
and received his elementary education at the schools in the im- 
mediate vicinity of his home. His course of instruction was 
completed at Nicolet College, near Three Rivers, on the St. Law- 
rence, Canada, where his studies were pursued without inter- 
mission for six years. He determined upon a profession, and 
choosing that of medicine, entered the Victoria Medical College, 
Montreal, his brother meanwhile being his preceptor. After a 
thorough medical training involving a period of four years, he 



was graduated from that institution in 1879, and on viewing the 
field of labor as more promising in the United States, left his 
native province and sought a home in New England. He first 
located in Natick in the town of Warwick, there began his pro- 
fessional career, and in 1880, before the second year had expired, 
sought a wider field in Centreville. Here he has since remained 
and engaged in the general practice of his profession. The 
doctor's thorough medical training very soon brought him a 
lucrative practice and placed him among the leading and suc- 
cessful practitioners of the county. While not making a specialty 
of any department of medical science, his judgment and skill 
have been especially noticeable in the department of obstetrics. 
His field of labor is a large one, covering an area of many miles. 

Doctor Legris was married on the 24th of October, 1881, to 
Leopoldine H., daughter of Louis Des Rosiers, a notary of Mon- 
treal. Their children are : Marie Blanche, born May 8th, 1883 ; 
Louis J. A., November 13th, 1884 ; Chariest Ernest, April 12th, 
1886, and M. L. Fiorina, October 16th, 1887. The doctor is a 
director of the Centreville National Bank, and vice-president of 
the Warwick and Coventry Water Works Company. He is in 
religion a Roman Catholic, and a member of St. Jean Baptiste 
church of that denomination in Centreville, of which he is a 
trustee. He is honorary president of the St. Jean Baptiste So- 
ciety of the latter village, as well as of the same society in 
Natick. He endorses the principles of the republican party, and 
is much interested in its success. He was elected to the Warwick 
town council, but has not aspired to higher honors. The doctor 
is a member of the Rhode Island State Medical Society and of 
the French Medical Society of New York and New England. 

Doctor James B. Tillinghast was born in 1846. His father. 
Benoni J., was a son of Captain Joseph Tillinghast, a son of 
Deacon Pardon Tillinghast. The deacon's father, Charles, is 
mentioned in Warwick as the ancestor of Samuel C. Tillinghast. 
The doctor read medicine with Doctor John Winsor, of Coventry, 
and graduated at the New York Homeopathic Medical College 
in 1872. He began practice in Coventry with Doctor Allen Til- 
linghast. His practice included the western part of' the town of 
Warwick until 1888. In 1887 he opened a city office in Provi- 
dence, and to his practice there is giving the most of his at- 

Doctor William J. Burge, of Pawtuxet, is a native of Wick- 


ford, R. I., and was born April 12th, 1831. He received his edu- 
cation at the Washington Academy, also attended the academy 
at East Greenwich, and was a private pupil under Doctor Axtel 
Crane of that village. At the same place he began the study of 
medicine under Doctor James H. Eldridge, and in 1853 gradu- 
ated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, 'New York 
city. He first practiced medicine in New York city six months, 
where he was connected with the Central Dispensary, Centre 
street, and also with the New York Lying-in Asylum. He moved 
from here to Salisbury .Connecticut, and married a step-daughter of 
Bishop Thomas A. Vail of Kansas, but removed again to Brooklyn, 
where he practiced medicine with his brother, J. Hobart Burge. 
During his stay of three years in Brooklyn he was surgeon of 
the Long Island College Hospital. 

Doctor James Boardman Hanafordwas born at New Hampton, 
N. H.,in 1849. His maternal ancestors are the Prescotts of revo- 
lutionary fame. While a lad he removed with his parents to 
New London, Conn., where he was prepared for college, and in 
1867 entered Dartmouth College. The next year he began the 
study of medicine with Professor L. B. Howe of Dartmouth. In 
June, 1871, he graduated from the medical department of the 
University of the City of New York, and in October of the same 
year located in the village of Apponaug and opened an office, 
where he has since built up a valuable practice. For more than 
half of the seventeen years he has practiced here he has been the 
town physician by appointment of the town council. In 1888 he 
was elected to the general assembly as a republican. He was 
married in October, 1872, to Anna Louise, daughter of Benjamin 
D. Reynolds, and built his handsome residence in 1880. He is a 
brother of Honorable W. A. Hanaford, of East Greenwich. 

Doctor W. H. Sturtevant, of Pawtuxet, studied for a minister, 
and preached thirty years. He began the work of a clergyman 
about 1858, and spent four years thereafter ministering to a Con- 
gregational society in Martha's Vineyard. He then went to 
South Bemis,Cape Cod, but soon went back to Martha's Vineyard, 
to West Tisbury, where he remained in the ministry eighteen 
years. It was here and under the tutorship of Doctor Sisson, a 
homeopathic physician, he began the study of medicine, and where 
he practiced during the latter part of his stay when pastor of that 
society. He then went to Tiverton, R. I., and practiced medicine 

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Doctor Albert C. Dedrick, of Centreville, was born in Natick 
in 1831. In 1854, after the usual training of the common schools, 
he entered the New York State University Medical College at 
Albany, N. Y., where he was graduated December 28d, 1856. The 
following spring he began at Crompton, R. I., a practice which 
he gave up five years later to take a commission as assistant sur- 
geon in the Fourth Rhode Island Volunteers. After the regiment 
was mustered out he resumed practice at Cranston, R. I., and in 
the following year he located at Centreville, where he has since 
resided and practiced. He has represented Warwick three terms 
in the general assembly. He is a member of Saint John's Com- 
mandery — the oldest in the United States — and has been master 
of Manchester Lodge, F. & A. M., of Anthony, R. I. He has two 
sons and a daughter. His son Albert C. Dedrick, Jr., M. D., 
graduated at Bellevue Hospital Medical College March 12th, 1888, 
after preparatory training at home, and at Mowry and Goff's 
private school at Providence. He is now located at Fall River, 

Doctor Albert G. Sprague was born in Providence in 1836. He 
was educated at Pierce Academy, at Middleboro, Mass. In 1857 
he entered Jefferson Medical College at Philadelphia, from which 
he took his degree in 1859. During the civil war he was assistant 
surgeon in the Tenth and Seventh Rhode Island Regiments, and 
in 1866 located at Centreville, where he practiced with Doctor 
Hall. In 1883 he erected his elegant residence at River Point, 
where is now the center of his practice. Doctor Sprague has 
been some ten years a member of the state board of health and 
is health officer of this town. He represented Warwick one 
term in the general assembly. 

Doctor George T. Perry, of Natick, is a son of William G. and 
grandson of George C. Perry, who lived and died at Perryville 
in South Kingstown, having resided many years at the Commo- 
dore Perry place. William G. Perry was mill manager for the 
Amoskeag corporation thirty years prior to 1884, when he retired 
to Hampton, N. H., where he died in 1887. Doctor George T. 
Perry was educated at New London Academy and with Doctor 
William Burk, of Manchester, N. H. In 1864 he graduated from 
Bellevue Hospital Medical College. He went out one year as 
assistant surgeon of the Seventh New Hampshire regiment, and 
then practiced two years at Lynn. In 1867 he came to Natick as 


successor to Doctor J. S. Andros, then lately deceased, -where he 
is still practicing. Doctor Perry was ten years physician and 
surgeon for the state institutions at Cranston prior to March 1st, 
1883. He was brigade surgeon of the state militia while Thomas 
W. Chace was general. He has been a member of the State 
Medical Society since about 1870. He represented Warwick in 
the state senate from 1872 to 1874. 


Principal Features of the Township.— The First Settlers of Westerly.— The Pur- 
chase of Misquamicut.— Hardships Encountered by the Early Settlers.— 
Doctor Joshua Babcock.— Roll of Early Freemen.— Town Records.— Roll of 
Representatives.— List of Town Clerks.— Present Officers.— Notes from 
Timothy Dwight.— Granite Quarries. — Watch Hill.— Ocean View.— Potter 
Hill.— Lottery Village.— White Rook.— Nian tic— Indian Church.— Presby- 
terian Church.— The Union Meeting House. — The Gardner Church.— The 
Wilcox Church. — Friends' Society.— River Bend Cemetery. — Graveyards. 

THE town of Westerly is situated in the southwestern corner 
of the state, to which fact the town owes its name. The 
Indian name was Misquamicut, which signifies " a place 
for taking salmon." The township is considerably rough and 
broken. The soil, which is generally gravelly loam, affords most 
of the varieties from a fertile mould to a soil lean and sterile. 

The town is bounded on the north by the Pawcatuck river and 
the town of Hopkinton, on the east by Charlestown, on the south 
by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the west by the Pawcatuck river, 
which separates it from Connecticut. Its southern border being 
washed by the Atlantic Ocean and its western by a navigable 
river, the town was a trading post of some maritime interest 
formerly. Westerly was the first town incorporated in the King's 
Province (May 14th, 1669), and the fifth town in the colony. It 
contained an area of 153.4 square miles, which territory now be- 
longs to the four towns of Westerly, Hopkinton, Charlestown 
and Richmond. It was the largest town in the colony except 
Providence from 1669 to 1674, when it was outranked by Kings- 
town. On the 23d of June, 1686, the name was changed from 
Westerly to Haversham, but the former name was restored in 
1689. From this town was taken the territory of Charlestown, 
August 22d, 1738, and Hopkinton, March 19th, 1757. The town 
of Westerly now comprises about thirty-six square miles. The 
following, taken from Perry's valuable Census Report of 1885, 
gives the places of noted interest : 


Villages and Hamlets. — Westerly, Potter Hill, Stillmanville, 
Niantic or Dorrville, formerly called Shad-dock Weir ; Lottery, so 
called from the lottery grant of Joseph Pendleton, to whom the 
land belonged ; White Rock, Varietyville, AVatch Hill, Quarry 
Hill, Burden's Pond. 

Hills. — Carr's, Potter, Bumpin, Bear, Cormorant,Village, Quarrj^ 
formerly called Rhodes, on which are the famous granite quar- 
ries. A duel was fought on this hill by two American midship- 
naen in the war of 1812 ; Frazier's, Chin. 

Rivers. — Pawcatuck ; Indian battle about 1639 at Pawcatuck 
Forge, now Pawcatuck Bridge. 

Brooks. — Mastuxet, Red, Potter Hill, Noyes, Lanphear, Bliven, 

Ponds. — Watch Hill, Ward's, sometimes called Babcock's, In- 
dian name, Winnapaug, meaning "fine pond"; Quonocontaug 
(Westerly side) ; Burden's, No Bottom, Dixon's. 

Sunnner Resorts. — Watch Hill, Noyes Neck, Ocean View, 

Indian Names. — Misquamicut, Mastuxet, Aquantaug, Muschaug, 
Musquataug, Ashagomiconset, Minnacommuck, Nyantic, Pawca- 
tuck, Pascomattas, Quimamoge, Teapanock, Tiscatuck, Minna- 
baug, Muyquataug, Neshudganset, Paspatonage, Pawtuxent, 
Tishcottie, Tomaquaug, Weecapaug. 

Points. — Napatree, Sandy, Watch Hill, Wheat, Quahaug, Wee- 
capaug Neck, Noyes Neck. 

Islands. — Minnacommuc (in Cedar Swamp) ; Noyes' (in Quono- 
contaug Pond) ; Larkin's (in Ward's Pond). 

Historic. — Noyes Neck extends about one mile from the main 
land into the sea, separating Quonocontaug and Ward's ponds. 
This was a prominent sporting place seventy years ago. Ward's 
pond is connected with the sea by Noyes' Breach. This pond was 
named after Governor Samuel Ward, who resided here during 
his distinguished official career. Cedar Swamp. Historic house 
on Quarry hill. Chickamug was a fishing place on Pawcatuck 
river, a little above the bridge leading to Stonington, and had 
a weir, which the name signifies. While Westerly has diversified 
industries and interests, it is best known by the granite that is 
taken from its quarries, and used not only for building purposes 
in neighboring towns and cities, but for monuments in various 
parts of the country. The town has done its part to illustrate 
the truth of the saying elsewhere referred to, that " Rhode Island 


granite may serve as good a purpose here as Pentelic or Parian 
marble did in the Athenian republic." This granite has the 
virtue of retaining its polish and beauty despite the severe ordeal 
of our climate. 

The first whites that visited the shores of Westerly were Dutch 
traders in quest of furs, for which they exchanged cloth and in- 
struments of metal. At this point, however, they built no trading 
houses; their clumsy pinnaces entered the mouth of the river, 
and their marts were on the open shores. 

The bold and famous Captain Adrian Block first explored the 
coast in 1614. In 1616 De Laet sketched a map of the coast from 
the journal of Captain Block, in which the Pawcatuck is denomi- 
nated East river, the mouth of which Block mentions as " a 
crooked point in the shape of a side, behind which is a small 
stream or inlet." The Dutch evidently ascended the Pawcatuck 
in their explorations as far as Pawcatuck Rock. Ninigret, the 
Indian sachem, favored the Dutch traffic and for gain and pro- 
tection he formed a temporary compact with the Dutch of New 
Netherlands, now New York. This alliance was in existence in 
1650. At that time a harbor existed on the shore east of Watch 
Hill, now known as Quonocontaug pond. It is also evident that 
the Pawcatuck once debouched into the ocean near Watch Hill 
point, instead of wi-nding away to the westward, as at present, 
toward Stonington borough. Dutch keels anciently entered 
Quonocontaug pond; and as late as 1794 it was proposed to open it 
by diverting the Pawcatuck by a canal into it, the colony offering 
to pay two-thirds of the expense. The change in the river's 
mouth occurred before the coast was possessed by the whites, 
yet a breach through the sand ridge remained till the beginning 
of the present century. 

John and Mary Lawton Babcock were probably the first white 
settlers in Westerly. Rhode Island was then known by its In- 
dian name, Misquamicut. The first really historic band of Euro- 
peans that trod the ancient wilderness here was the military 
force of Captain John Mason on their hazardous march to the 
attack upon the Pequot fort at Mystic. On the 24th of May, 1637, 
the second night before the battle, the hero band having marched 
from Narragansett bay, halted and spent the night by Ninigret's 
fort, now Fort Neck. 

"At first," says Denison in "Westerly and Its Witnesses," 
"Ninigret hesitated to approve the perilous expedition, but in 


the morning he gave to Captain Mason a detachment of his bow- 
men. A Christian minister, Reverend Samuel Stone, accom- 
panied the expedition and served with remarkable efficiency. 
Hence from the bivouac of the soldier arose to heaven probably 
the first incense of intelligent prayer ever publicly offered on 
this soil to the living and true God. When the armed force left 
the encampment among the Niantics on the morning of May 
25th, it consisted of seventy-seven whites, sixty Mohegan and Con- 
necticut River Indians, about two hundred Narragansetts and 
nearly an equal number of Niantics, a body of a little more than 
five hundred men. The day being warm, they made a halt at 
the ford of the Pawcatuck to refresh themselves. This ford was 
the old Indian trail that crossed the river just below the present 
bridge, at the head of tide-water. The trusty guide of the ex- 
pedition was Wequash, a revolted Pequot captain. Stealthily 
they moved through the wilderness, and on the evening of the 
25th halted between the famous Portal Rocks, near the tide- 
water head of Mystic river. With the break of day, on the 26th, 
occurred the terrible onset, with muskets, sword and flame, that 
.swept down six hundred Pequots, demolished the fort, and broke 
the life of the nation. Mason's victory made his name imper- 

The earliest efforts of Rhode Island men to purchase lands of 
the Indians in Misquamicut, with the exception of John Babcock 
and one or two others, seem to have been made near 1658 ; noth- 
ing, however, of importance was accomplished. Denison says : 
" The settlers of this colony did not believe in occupying Indian 
lands by right of conquest ; in all cases they purchased their 
titles of the aboriginies. In 1660 a private company was organ- 
ized in Newport for the purchase and settlement of Misquamicut. 
In the same year another company of sixteen persons purchased 
Block Island of the natives, the Manisses Indians. 

" We have seen that a few of the first settlers in Misquamicut 
were of Massachusetts origin and education. They joined the 
settlers of Nameaug, now New London, in maintaining public 
worship under the ministry of Reverend Richard Blinman. By 
bridle paths through the unsubdued wilderness, fording the 
streams and rivers, the scattered settlers traveled to join their 
friends in public devotions, meeting alternately at New London 
and Pawcatuck. In the summer, however, they met midway 
between these places, on the western border of the town cf 


Stonington, upon the lands of Colonel George Denison, under 
the shade of a giant pine tree, where now stands the old Denison 
mansion, full two hundred years old, and containing some of the 
wood of the sacred Bethel tree. These Pedobaptists were a kind 
of Presbyterians, who at last became Congregationalists. In ref- 
erence to their early meetings, we may quote the following 
record of the Connecticut Assembly in 1656 : ' It is ordered by 
this court, that while the ministry is maintained at Pawcatuck, the 
charge thereof, and the ministry at Pequett, New London, shall 
be borne as the major part of the inhabitants shall agree and 
order.' Reverend William Thompson ' ministered to the Pequots 
at Mystic and Pawcatuck,' from 1657 to 1663, aided pecuniarily 
by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England. 
The Pawcatuck families of Massachusetts origin finally attended 
upon the ministry of Reverend James Noyes, the first settled 
minister of Stonington. Yet meetings were occasionally held in 
Westerly, in the private houses of the settlers. The first Con- 
gregational church in Stonington was not organized till June, 

" Would that we could look back and see the first white fami- 
lies, that came by boat along the coast, or by Indian trails through 
the deep forests, and made the first clearings in the dense wil- 
derness. To look into their log houses, sometimes half beneath 
the earth, and half above, thatched often with slabs and bark, 
rarely furnished with windows, having furniture manufactured 
with ax, saw and auger, to follow them in their labor in subduing 
the wild, would induce us to thankfully cherish their names and 
their deeds. What strangers are we to their toils and perils and 
sacrifices. Alas ! that even the graves of these pioneers have 
been suffered to be neglected, and many of them wholly for- 
gotten. Nor did any among them aspire to the office of an 
annalist. Could some record, even a rude journal kept among 
them, now be found, how eagerly and thankfully would it be 

" On the 21st of March, 1661, eighty members of a company drew 
up and subscribed ' Articles of Agreement ' which were some- 
what enlarged with ' Acts and Orders ' in July and September 
following. ' The deed and all other writings ' were ' kept in Wil- 
liam Vaughan's house.' The land was first held in six shares, by 
William Vaughan, Robert Stanton, Hugh Mosher, John Fairfield, 
James Longbottom^and Shubael Painter. These sold to the other 


members of the company. The six original shares were valued 
at seven pounds each. The first occupants under the purchase 
appear to have entered upon the lands about the 1st of Septem- 
ber, 1661. But of those who first meditated settlement in this 
month, ' all failed except Toby Saunders, Robert Burdick and 
Joseph Clarke, Jun.' Others, however, soon joined them. 

" Immediately upon the removal of the first proprietors to this 
region, difficulties arose with Connecticut and Massachusetts in 
respect to jurisdiction. The purchasers were sustained by the 
royal charter given the colony in 1643, and by the deed obtained 
of Sosoa." 

But the adjacent colonies, envious and hostile to Rhode Island, 
in order to enforce their claims, seized Robert Burdick and 
Tobias Saunders, and confined them in prison at Boston till they 
should pay a fine of forty pounds and give security in one hun- 
dred pounds for their future good conduct ; and other acts of 
hostility were performed by Massachusetts and Connecticut 
detrimental to the new company, but few of whom, however, 
because of the difficulties, were deterred from becoming actual 

" It will be proper here to give some account of the purchase 
of the original township, and the measures adopted in the first 

Petition to Assembly. 

" ' To the Honorable Gentlemen of the Cotirt of Commissioners assem- 
bled together in his Majesty s name, for the colony of Providence 
Plantations at Portsmouth, the 27 th of August, 1661. 
" ' Please ye honored gentlemen : There being an opportunity 
or presentment of a certain piece or tract of land, lately discov- 
ered or made known, which tract of land lyeth in a situation in 
the furdest or remotest corner of this colony's jurisdiction, called 
by the name of Ascomicutt ; which tract of land is fairly promised 
to a certain number of Adventurers upon the design of pur- 
chasing it ; which adventurers are members of this colony, and 
-well wishers thereto, who desire to do nothing that shall prove 
prejudicial to the interest and honor of the colony's privileges 
or advancement; but are now confronted by adversaries which, 
by a species of intrusion, are seeking to make inroads upon our 
privileges of colonies' jurisdiction ; these premises considered, 
your petitioners are bold, under correction, to pray, in case we 


can make the adversary, which is both to the colony and to us, 
to retreat, which we question not in point of right and title from 
the natives ; therefore, we being willing to proceed in all points 
of loyalty that may suit with the advance and honor of the 
colony, we humbly crave your favorable approbation, countenance 
and assistance to us in the settling of a plantation or township in 
or upon the above said tract of land, called by the name of As- 
comicutt ; which number of persons may probably extend to 30, 40, 
or 50, or thereabouts; which thence are to inhabit; thereof many 
are persons constrained to make inquisition and seek out land for 
a comfortable livelihood. So, honored gentlemen, if it be your 
pleasure to grant your petitioners' request, as we are, so we sub- 
scribe and remain, your humble petitioners and servants, to our 
power, for ourselves, and in the behalf of the rest of our 

William Vahan (his X mark). Caleb Carr. 

John Coggeshall. James Rogers (his I. R. mark). 

John Crandall. Joseph Torry. 

Hugh Mosher. John Cranston.' 

James Barker. 

" In this petition are discovered the foreshadowings of litiga- 
tions relative to the boundaries. The purchase rested on the fol- 
lowing deed : — 

" ' A Copy of the Purchase of Sosoa, the true Owner of 


" ' This deed or writing, bearing date this present twenty-ninth 
day of June, one thousand six hundred and sixty, witnesseth, 
that I, Sosoa, an Indian captain of Narragansett, being the true 
and lawful owner of a tract of land called Misquamicut, for a 
valuable consideration in hand paid to my content, having bar- 
gained and sold unto William Vaughan, Robert Stanton, John 
Fairfield, Hugh Mosher, James Longbottom, all of Newport, in 
Rhode Island, and others their associates, which said tract of land 
being bounded as foUoweth : Easterly by a place called Weeca- 
paug or Passpatanage, joining to Niantic land ; on the south by 
the main sea ; on the west by Pawcatuck River, and so up the 
chief river or stream northerly and northeasterly to a place called 
Quequatuck or Quequachonocke ; and from thence on a straight 
line to the first named bounds called Weecapaug or Pachatanage; 
joining upon the Niantic land, as above said ; which said tract 


of land, so butted and bounded as aforesaid, I, the said Sosoa, do 
for myself, my heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns, sur- 
render up all right, title, claim or interest whatsoever to the 
land, &c. &c. 

The mark of [ \ ] Sosoa. 
Sealed, signed in presence of 

Jeremy Clarke. 

Latham Clarke. 

Henry Clarke. 

AwASHWASH his mark. 

The mark Wo df NucuM, Interpreter. 

George Webb. 

George Gardiner. 
The title was confirmed by 




Wawaloam (wife of Miantonomi). 




" 'A copy of Wawaloam, the wife of Miantonomv, her 
affirmation and confirmation of Socho, alias SossoA, his 
deed and grant. 

" ' ASPANAUSUCK or Hakewamepixke, 
the 25th June, 1661. 

" ' Know all men by these presents, or whom it may concern, 
that I, Wawaloam, which was the wife of the deceased Sachem, 
Miantonomy, do thus testify and affirm of my perfect knowledge : 
I did hear my husband Miantonomy, as also my uncle Canonicus, 
both of them joyntly dispose, give and pass over a tract of land 
named Misquamicuk to a valorous Captain named Socho ; this 
tract of land it is bounded as foUoweth : on the east corner by a 
place called Weecapaug or Pespataug, joyning to the Nahanticut 
land, by the salt sea, which is about 10 miles from Pawcatuck 
River, this bound is the southeast corner ; and on the south side 
bounded with the main ocean, from the first bounds westerly to 
the mouth of Pawcatuck River ; and from the mouth of Pawca- 
tuck River bounded by Pawcatttck River, which is the west 


bounds of this tract of land, and so up the chief river or stream 
of Pawcatuck River, northerly and northeasterly about 15 miles 
from the mouth of Pawcatuck River, up to a place called Quequa- 
tuck ; and from this northeast corner bounds it is bounded upon 
a line southeast to the southeast corner, which is by the main 
ocean joining to the Nianticut land, as it is above named, Wee- 
capaug, or Passpatanage ; this land thus bounded, be it 20,000 
acres more or less, I, Wawaloam, do affirm it to be Socho's or his 
assigns ; and further, whereas my uncle Ninigrad sayeth that 
it is his land, I, Wawaloam, do utterly deny it before all men, for 
it was conquered by my husband, Miantonomy, and my uncle 
Canonicus, long before the English had any wars with the 
Pequots, therefore, I, Wawaloam, do really confirm it, and affirm 
it to be Socho's land, his heirs, executors, administrators or as- 
signs forever, from all others whatsoever. 

" ' Witness my hand and seal the year and day above written. 

The mark of [bow and arrow] Wawaloam [l. s.] ' " 

In the year 1669 the whole region then embraced by Westerly 
contained only about thirty families. These during this year, 
in May, 1669, by an act of the colony were incorporated and the 
township of Westerly received its name. Copying from the town 
records we find : 

" A List of the Free Inhabetants of the Towne of Westerle, 
May 18th, 1669 : John Crandall, Edward Larkin, Stephen Wilcox, 
John Lewis, James Cross, Jonathan Armstrong, John Maxson, 
Jeffree Champion, Sen., John Fairfield, Danniel Cromb, Nickolas 
Cottrell, Shubael Painter, Tobias Saunders, Robert Burdick, 
John Randall, John Matkoon, John Sharp, Danniel Stanton, James 
Babcock, Sen., Thomas Painter, James Babcock, Jun., John Bab- 
cock, Job Babcock, Josiah Clark." 

The colony immediately appointed John Crandall and Tobias 
Saunders "conservators of his Majesty's peace," with power to 
summon juries and hold courts. 

To these twenty-four men was committed the guardianship of 
a territory, mostly a dense forest traversed only by trails, twenty 
miles in length and ten in breadth. No sooner had these few 
scattered settlers been incorporated than the dark, dread storm 
known as King Philip's war began to gather, and the cruelties 
and treacheries of that sanguinary struggle dispersed the pioneer 
occupants of the soil and obliged them to take shelter again in 


Newport. No deputies appeared from the town in tlie general as- 
sembly for five years. 

In 1667 Queen Anne's road was begun. It was not, however, 
at first known by that name, and extended only from New Lon- 
don to the Pawcatuck river. At a later date it was extended 
through the Narragansett country to Newport, and opened prior 
to 1705, probably about 1703, as Queen Anne came to the throne 
in 1702 and died in 1714. 

In 1686 the name of Westerly was changed to Haversham by 
the king's court of commissioners, but in 1689 the proper name 
of the town, owing to the unsupported administration of Sir 
Edmund Andros, returned to the records. In 1690 the defenseless 
settlers being seized with fear because of the attack of a French 
fleet of pirates upon the inhabitants of Block Island, a force of 
fifty-six men under Captain DavoU was stationed here for de- 

These few freemen stood over their homes ready to defend 
themselves and do all in their power to aid their exposed brethren 
in other colonies. In the expedition fitted out in New England 
for the capture of Port Royal in July, 1710, Westerly furnished 
twenty men, four of them being Indians. 

" For many years," says Denison, " serious difficulties were 
experienced by the planters in obtaining cattle and horses, as 
most of these were necessarily imported. Besides the heavy first 
cost, other expenses were incurred in securing their lives, and 
particularly the lives of the young, from the depredations of the 
wild beasts. A colt or a calf was scented far and pleasantly by 
the bears. Every domestic animal had to be folded at night. 
The keeping of sheep was impracticable for many years. In 
1696 the colony paid a bounty of ten shillings per head on wolves. 
In 1697, the authorities of Westerly voted 'twenty shillings in 
money to an Englishman, and ten shillings to an Indian, for 
every grone wolfe that is ceht or killed.' So numerous were 
bears, foxes, wolves and wild cats, that the people sometimes, for 
their own safety as well as that of their stock, would set apart 
days in which all the able-bodied men, armed with musket, pouch 
and horn, and accompanied with their deep-mouthed dogs, would 
unite and ' drive ' the forests, hills and swamps to diminish the 
insatiate carnivora. The baying of hounds, the sounding of 
horns, the reports of muskets, the rallying calls from hill to val- 
ley, and the shouts of pursuit, onset and success — all would pre- 


sent a scene and an excitement rivaling not simply the old hunts, 
but the old tournaments and tales of border life in the days of 
chivalry and romance. These hunting days not only relieved 
the settlers' homes of many of their enemies, but they also sup- 
plied important needs of clothing. And the deer of the country 
furnished deliciou.s meat as well as serviceable apparel. 

"The hitherto imperfectly drawn boundary line between 
Kingstown and Westerly was satisfactorily adjusted in 1695. 

" To this trying and perilous period of French and Indian wars 
in the country belongs the romantic, traditional reports of the 
self-reliant and heroic Mrs. Sims (known to fame as ' Nanny 
Sims'). Her husband was away in the armies of the Crown for 
the defense of the colonies ; the good wife was alone in her 
dwelling ; the house was attacked by three savages ; the door 
bars withstood them. At length two of the assailants scaled the 
house, and began to descend the great chimney, while the third 
endeavored to break his way through a window. It was difficult 
to parry such attacks at two points. But the cool, courageous 
Nanny was equal to the hour. She seized her straw bed and 
threw it into the broad fire-place upon the brands. The smoke 
and flames instantly sent the savages, singed and suffocating, from 
the chimney-top. She then grasped her ax and addressed her- 
self to the barbarian who had just broken through the window. 
With a well-aimed blow she stunned him, and then calmly fin- 
ished her work by chopping off his head. The house in which 
this tragedy occurred stood near what is now styled ' Irish Plain,' 
about three-fourths of a mile southeast of Red brook. The cel- 
lar of the house is still pointed out." 

After the downfall of Philip, intercourse was opened again be- 
tween Westerly, Newport and Providence. Persons and families 
began to return again to their homes. But roads being uncut, 
and the rivers being unbridged, the pioneers labored under 
great difficulties and privations. At first they could have neither 
school houses nor meeting houses, and but few and small public 
assemblies. Their log and block houses were their castles, their 
school rooms their sanctuaries till nearly the close of the century. 

Doctor Joshua Babcock was a distinguished citizen of Westerly, 
and was the friend and correspondent of Doctor Franklin. Doc- 
tor Babcock was born in Westerly in the year 1707. He was 
graduated from Yale College, and soon after commenced the 
study of physic and surgery in Boston, and afterward went to 


England to complete his education. He settled in his native 
town, where he soon obtained an extensive practice. He soon 
after opened as extensive a retail country store as any between 
New York and Boston. He was likewise much in public busi- 
ness. As chief justice of the supreme court of the state he pro- 
nounced the sentence of death on the notorious Thomas Carter 
for the murder of Jackson. 

One of the most striking features of Doctor Babcock's character 
was his observance of method in everything pertaining to his 
business, his style of living, amusements and devotions. He was 
an early riser, and gave a morning hour to his farm. His break- 
fast was bread and milk, with some apple pie or fruit of the sea- 
son. At dinner he ate heartily, but always of one dish, be it 
roast or boiled fish or flesh ; and as he began so he ended. He 
took cider as a common beverage, and a temperate glass of good 
wine. At tea, of which he was very fond, he drank exactly 
three cups. At a regular supper table he confined himself in- 
variably to his porringer of bread and milk. At the close of the 
week his family were called into the sitting room to hear a 
chapter from the Bible and a prayer. Doctor Babcock was a Greek 
scholar, and the book used at these devotional exercises was 
printed in that language. He was the father of Colonel Harry 
Babcock, whose sketch will be found in another place. 


The following copied from the town records gives " A list of 
all ye Freemen of Westerly Town from the first settlement 
thereof to 1727: 

John Crandall. Joseph Dwell. 

Tobias Saunders. Joseph Crandall. 

Edward Larkin. James Lewis. 

Robert Burdick. Capt. James Pendleton. 

Stephen Willcocks. Joshua Holens. 

John Randal. Hoop Chapman. 

John Lewis. John Maxon, Jr. 

John Mackoon. Benjamin Burdick. 

James Cass. Joseph Maxon. 

John Thorp. James Babcock, Jr. 

Jonathan Armstrong. Henry Halls, Jr. 

Daniel Stanton. Edward Larkin, Jr. 

John Maxon. Thomas Rennalls. 



James Babcock. 
Jafrey Champlin. 
Thomas Painter. 
John Fairfield. 
James Babcock, Jr. 
Daniel Crumb. 
John Babcock. 
Nicholas Cottrell. 
Job Babcock. 
Shuball Painter. 
Joseph Clarke. 
George Lanfear. 
Richard Swait. 
Jafrey Champlin, Jr. 
Henry Halls, Sen. 
John Lewis, Jr. 
Garshum Cottrell. 
William Champlin. 
Peter Crandall. 
Christopher Champlin. 
James Crandall. 
David Lewis. 
James Bliven. 
George Babcock. 
Samuel Clarke. 
Nicholas Utter. 
Edward Blavin. 
John Wells. 
Theodaty Rhodes. 
Roger Larkin. 
John Johnson. 
John Clarke. 
Joseph Pendleton. 
James Noyes. 
William Ross. 
John HoUoway. 
Samuel HoUoway. 
Benjamin HoUoway. 
Solomon Hakes. 
Ebor Crandall. 
William Clarke. 

John Davis. 
John Babcock. 
Joseph Pemberton. 
Thoinas Stephens. 
Joseph Clarke, Jr. 
James Halls. 
Caleb Pendleton. 
George Brown. 
David Lewis. 
Israel Lewis. 
Richard Lanphear. 
Nicholas Satterly. 
Thomas Wells, Sen. 
Thomas Wells, Jr. 
Samuel Lewis. 
Thomas Burdick. 
Edward Willcocks. 
John Eanoss. 
Shadrack Lanfeare. 
John Maccoon. 
John Larkin. 
John Cottrill. 
John Loveliss. 
Peter Crandall, Jr. 
Daniel Babcock. 
Jonathan Brown. 
William Davis. 
Joseph Crandall. 
Thomas Morhouse. 
John Lewis, Jr. 
Samuel Allen. 
Joseph Stanton. 
Joseph Johnson. 
Tobias Brand. 
William Champlin. 
Edward Blaven. 
William James. 
Benjamin Saunders. 
Daniel Babcock. 
- John Lewis, Jr. (John Lewis' 



JoTin Witter. 
Phillip Palmiter. 
Jonathan Maxon. 
Hubbard Burdick. 
Francis Colgrove. 
Edward Halls. 
Isaac Thompson. 
George Stillman. 
John Hill. 
Nathaniel Wells. 
Peter Worden. 
Job Babcock, Jr. 
James Covey. 
Thomas Utter. 
Thomas Clarke. 
Thomas Hiscox. 
Nicholas Satterly. 
James Bemiss. 
Samuel Babcock. 
Stephen Willcox. 
Edward Willcox. 
John Maccoon, Jr. 
Joseph Maxon, Jr. 
Thomas Burdick, Jr. 
Edward Saunders. 
Stephen Saunders. 
Thomas Brand. 
Thomas Wells. 
Josiah Hill. 
Joseph Renals. 
William Davell, Jr. 
Thomas Stanton. 
Daniel Stanton. 
Samuel Burdick. 
Robert Burdick. 
John Maxon, Jr., 2d. 
Christopher Champlin, ye 3d. 
Stephen Willcox, son to Ste- 
David Kinyon. 

Thomas Lillebridge. 
James Rogers. 
Thomas Rogers. 
John Moor. 
Peter Button, Jr. 
Richard Dake. 
William Knowls. 
Joseph Hadrall. 
Joseph Cross. 
John Webster. 
Jeremiah Boss. 
Jonathan Kinyon. 
Caleb Pendleton. 
Old Mr. John Kinyon. 
William Bentley. 
John Bentley. 
Isaac Sheffield. 
John Baker. 
Samuel Wilboure. 
Benjamin Rennalls. 
Robert Astin. 
John Larkin. 
James Halls. 
Francis Colgrove. 
Joseph James. 
Stephen Richmond. 
Gideon Hoxie. 
Robert Babcock. 
Israel Lewis. 
Nathaniel Lewis. 
Daniel Greenell. 
Mathias Button. 
John Hoxsie, Jr. 
Stephen Babcock. 
George Havens. 
Benjamin Brown. 
Samuel Cottrill. 
John Pooley. 
Joseph Kinyon. 
Samuel Barber." 


From the town records we extract the following : 

" On a training day June ye 25th, 1702, held in Westerle att a 

public place at the house of John Davis the proclamation of her 

Royall Majtye Ann Queen of England etc. Was Read according 

to the Gov'r warrant With the Greatest Decency and Demon. 

stration of joye, as the afore s'd Towne was capable In Obeying 

ye above s'd Warrant. 

" Joseph Pendleton Towne Clerk." 

" Mar. 9, 1708.— Voted That every householder shall kill or 
cause to be killed, twelve black birds or pay twelve pence instead 
thereof ; viz : old black birds that can fly, &c. to begin ye first of 
April and to continue till the last of May &c." 

" Mrch 1718. We doe hereby Inact &c. that any person or per- 
sons that will or shall kill any wild cat or fox or wild catts or 
foxis shall be payed for thare Killing of them three shillings 
pr head, out of the town's treasury, etc." 

" Mar. 24 1701-2 Six Indians were drowned at Pawcatuck." 

" July 4 1702 A great storm of thunder and hail was not 
melted in three days and killed much corn and other grain, and 
some cattel and fouls." 

" July 19, 1702 The privatears went from Roadisland." 

" Sep 25, 1702 The privateers canie home from their prizes." 

" June 2, 1706. French took a sloop. 

3 The Town in arms. 

4 Capt. Wanton took the sloops both again." 
" Jan 23 1707 Wolf hunting day." 

" June 18, 1708 The French at Block Island." 

" May 16, 1709 Soldiers pressed for Canadee." 

Under date of September 26th, 1748, in the case of a person 
styled " a transient," who had disregarded the public warnings 
to leave the town it was voted " That the officer shall take the 
s<i — (person) forthwith to some publick place in this town and 
strip him from the waist upward & whyp him twenty strypes well 
laid on his naked back and then by s<i officer transported out of 
this town," etc. 

The winter of 1740-1 is reported as being extremely severe. 
There were this year more than thirty snow storms, besides 
small flights not worth mentioning. The snow on a level in the 
woods was supposed to be three feet deep on the 10th of March. 
A great loss of both cattle and sheep was reported and squirrels 
and birds were found frozen to death. Deer were found dead 
near the springs. 


The "dark and yellow day appeared May ye 19, 1780." 
" April ye 9, 1785— Snow four feet 7^ inches deep." 
"May 29 1790. Constitution adopted by Rhode Island." 
An instance of public whipping- occurred on a farm near 
Worden's pond near 1820. A black man residing in Westerly 
passed into Stonington and stole a number of turkeys. Traced 
in the light snow to his retreat and arrested, he was brought 
before Doctor William Robinson, then serving as justice, who 
sentenced him to be publicly whipped. He was tied to a tavern 
sign post at the west end of the bridge. No cowhide being- 
available a man was sent to Mr. Rowse Babcock's woods for a 
good hickory sapling. The thirteen lawful stripes were duly and 
faithfully administered by Mr. Clark Thompson. The large 
crowd, and especially all the owners of poultry, indorsed the 
operation of the law. The culprit immediately left this region 
of country. 

In 1830 the last public whipping in this town occurred. It was 
the case of one who had stolen sheep. The trial and conviction 
took place at the Gavitt House, a little north of the Red brook. 
At that time this place was both an inn and a place where town 
meetings were held. The thief was sentenced to receive nine- 
teen stripes on his bare back. He was stripped and tied to a 
large buttonwood tree in front of the inn. The sheriff, Colonel 
Isaac Gavitt, dealt the stripes that freely drew the blood. A large 
and excited crowd of spectators witnessed the scene, while the 
rogue loudly and tearfully bewailed his lot. 

The first piano in the town was introduced in 1830. It be- 
longed to Miss Martha B. Cross, afterward Mrs. Babcock. 

In speaking of eccentric individuals Mr. Denison thus describes 
a singular character who lived about forty years ago : ' He was 
a native of the town, and his father lived where now stands the 
residence of Mr. Pardon Lewis. He bore the name of David 
Wilbur, and lived unmarried, a recluse, a dweller in forests, with- 
out house or home after his father's death. Seemingly gifted, 
but wholty uneducated, extremely eccentric, afraid of all human 
kind, even of children, he was commonly called ' the wild man.' 
Having studied the stars, and the signs of the clouds and winds, 
he was proverbially weatherwise, and was popularly named ' the 
astronomer.' In summer he lived chiefly on berries and fruits, 
and slept in a swamp by the side of a large rock, having an old 
door as a kind of roof, and a bundle of flax for a pillow. In win- 


ters he fed on nuts, roots, such grain as he had stored, and such 
game as he could entrap. He would sometimes take refuge in a 
barn or shed, but rarely consented to enter a house. Though he 
traversed quite a region, he seldom allovv^ed himself to be seen. 
In passing through the fields of the farmers he displayed a 
singular penchant for scratching numbers, signs and figures on 
the pumpkins. The cause of his abnormal life seems never to 
have been known. He is supposed to have died at the age of 
seventy, and was buried on the farm now occupied by William 
P. Taylor, Esq., in the Rhodes Burying Ground." 

" The only windmill of which Westerly has ever been able to 
boast, lifted its octagonal tapering form, its umbrella-shaped 
head, and its latticed arms, near 1850, on the hill east of the vil- 
lage of Westerly, southward from the present quarry, near the 
fork of the public roads. The town, however, never had occasion 
to boast of this mill, for it was as unprofitable as it was clumsy 
and unreliable. It was imported and set up by Thomas G. Hazard. 
It was first erected in the town of Groton, Conn., between Noank 
and Mystic Bridge, and afterward removed to Pistol point, in 
Stonington, a short distance below Mystic Bridge. From the 
latter place it was transported to Westerly. Here, as elsewhere, 
it proved a failure. In a few years it bowed to saws and axes." 

Roll of representatives. — " As." stands for Assistant ; and 
" De." for Deputy. 

1669.— As. Tobias Saunders. 

1670.— De. John Crandall. De. Stephen Wilcocks. De. John 
Maxson. De. Suball Paynter. De. Nicolas Cottrell. 

1671.— De. John Crandall. De. Tobias Saunders. 

1672.— De. Tobias Saunders. De. Shuball Painter. De. Stephen 

1673-4-5-6-7. — Town business broken up by Philip's war. 

1678-9.— As. Joseph Clarke. 

1680.— As. Joseph Clarke. De. Tobias Saunders. De. Robert 

1681.— De. Tobias Saunders. De. Jeffrey Champlin. 

1682.— De. Jeffrey Champlin. De. John Badcocke. 

1683.— De. Tobias Saunders. De. Robert Burdick. 

1684.— De. Jeffrey Champlin. De. John Badcocke. 

1685.— De. Jeffrey Champlin. De. Robert Burdick. 

1686.— De. Jeffrey Champlin. De. John Maxson. 


1686-7-8-9. — Administration of Sir Edmond Andros; and 
Westerly styled " Haversham," or " Feversham." 

1690.— De. John Maxon. De. Joseph Clarke. De. Tobias 
Saunders. De. William Champlin. 

1691.— De. Henry Hall. De. Capt. William Champlin. 

1692. — De. Capt. William Champlin. De. Joshua Holmes. 

1693. — De. John Maxson. De. Edward Wilcocks. 

1694. — De. Joshua Holmes. De. Joseph Danell. 

1695. — De. Capt. Joseph Danell. De. John Babcock. 

1696.— De. Capt. William Champlin. De. Nicolas Cottrell. 

1697. — De. Capt. William Champlin. De. John Lewis. 

1698. — De. Joseph Clarke. ,De. Capt. William Champlin. 

1699.— De. Capt. William Champlin. De. Peter Crandall. 

1700. — De. Capt. William Champlin. De. Joseph Clarke. De. 
Lieut. Peter Crandall. 

1701. — De. Capt. James Babcock. De. Peter Crandall. 

1702. — As. Capt. Edward Greenman. De. Joseph Clarke. De. 
William Gibson. De. William Champlin. 

1703. — De. Capt. William Champlin. Dg. Lieut. Peter Cran- 
dall. De. Capt. Andrew Willett. De. Benjamin Greene. 

1704. — De. Joseph Clarke. De. Lieut. Peter Crandall. 

1705. — De. Capt. William Champlin. De. John Maxson. 

1706. — De. Joseph Clarke. De. William Champlin. 

1706-7. — De. Capt. James Babcock. De. Edward Larking. 

1707. — De. Capt. William Champlin. De. John Saunders. 

1708. — De. Joseph Clarke. De. Capt. James Babcock. De. 
Joseph Stanton, Jun. 

1709. — De. Capt. James Babcock. De. Joseph Crandall. 

1710. — De. Capt. William Champlin. De. John Lewis. — 

1711.— De. Capt. William Clarke. De. Daniel Lewis. ^ 

1712. — De. William Champlin. De. Joseph Maxson. 

1713. — De. Capt. John Babcock. De. John Saunders. 

1714. — De. Daniel Lewis. De. Thomas Hiscox. 

1715. — De. Daniel Brown. De. Capt. Joseph Stanton. De. Capt. 
John Babcock. De. Edwin Larkin. 

1716.— As. Samuel Clarke. De. John Hill. De. George Bab- 
cock. De. James Babcock. 

1717. — De. Capt. John Babcock. De. William Wilkinson. 

1718. — De. Capt. John Babcock. De. Thomas Hiscox. De. 
Capt. Joseph Stanton. 


1719. — De. Capt. Joseph Stanton. De. Isaac Thompson. De. 
Samuel Rogers. 

1720.— De. Capt. John Babcock. De. Thomas Hiscox. 

1721. — De. Isaac Thompson. De. John Hill. De. Capt. Joseph 
Stanton. ' De. Lieut. Theodaty Rhodes. 

1722.— De. John Hill. De. Isaac Thomson. 

1723. — De. Capt. John Babcock. De. Christ. Champlin, Jun. 

1724-5.— De. Capt. John Babcock. De. Theodaty Rhodes. De. 
Capt. Joseph Stanton. De. Capt. John Hill. 

1726. — De. Christ. Champlin, Jun. De. Thomas Hiscox. De. 
Major Joseph Stanton. De. Capt. John Hill. 

1727. — De. Major Joseph Stanton. De. Thomas Hiscox. De. 
Capt. John Hill. 

1728. — De. John Richmond. De. William Champlin. 

1729,— De. John Richmond. 

1730.— De. Capt. Oliver Babcock. De. Capt. William Clarke. 

1731. — De. Major Joseph Stanton. De. William Champlin. 

1732. — De. Lieut.-Col. Joseph Stanton. De. William Champlin. 

1733. — De. Col. Joseph Stanton. De. John Richmond. 

1734. — De. Capt. Oliver Babcock. De. Thomas Hiscox. 

1735. — De. Capt. Oliver Babcock. De. Col. Joseph Stanton. 

1736.— De. Col. Joseph Stanton. De. Thomas Hiscox. 

1737. — De. Capt. Oliver Babcock. De. Capt. James Rogers. 

1738.— De. Col. Oliver Babcock. De. Capt. Christ. Champlin. 

1739. — De. Thomas Hiscox. De. Joshua Babcock. 

1740. — De. Thomas Hiscox. De. Joshua Babcock. 

1741.— De. Thomas Hiscox. De. William Champlin, Jun. 

1742.— De. William Champlin, Jun. De. Captain John Maxon. 

1743.— De. Capt. John Maxson. De. William Hern. 

1744. — De. Captain John Maxson. De. William Babcock. 

1745.— De. William Hern. De. Captain Nathaniel Lewis. 

1746.- De. William Hern. De. Silas Greenman. 

1747.— De. Joshua Babcock. De. Captain William Pendleton. 

1748.- De Joshua Babcock. De. Major William Pendleton. 

1749.— De. Captain Silas Greenman. De. Joshua Babcock. 

1750-1.- De. Colonel Joseph Pendleton. De. Captain Caleb 

1752.— De. Colonel Oliver Babcock. De. Joshua Babcock. 

1753.— De. Joshua Babcock. De. Joshua Clarke. 

1754.— De. Major Joshua Clarke. De. Captain Benjamin Ran- 


1755. — De. Captain Benjamin Randall. De. Hezekiah Collins. 

1756-7.— De. Major Joseph Clarice. De. Samuel Ward. De. 
Captain Joseph Stanton. 

1758. — De. Captain Joseph Stanton. De. Joshua Babcock. 

1759. — De. Joshua Babcock. De. Colonel Joseph Pendleton. 

1760. — De. Joshua Babcock. De. Captain Nathan Babcock. 

1761. — De. Captain George Stillman. De. Captain Nathan 

1762. — Governor Samuel Ward. De. Captain George Still- 
man. De. James Babcock, Jun. 

1763.— De. Colonel William Pendleton. De. George Sheffield. 

1764. — De. James Babcock, Jun. David Maxson, 2d. 

1765.— Governor Samuel AYard. De. Captain George Still- 
man. De. David Maxson. 

1766. — Governor Samuel Ward. De. Major Edward Bliven. 
De. Stephen Saunders. 

1767. — De. Joseph Crandall. De. Captain Edward Saunders. 

1768. — De. Joseph Crandall. De. Captain Matthew Maxson. 

1769. — De. Captain Edward Saunders. De. Joseph Clarke, 

1770. — De. James Rhodes. De. Oliver Babcock. 

1771-2. — De. James Rhodes. De. Phineas Clark. 

1773. — De. Joshua Babcock. De. James Rhodes. 

1774. — De. Joshua Babcock. De. Stephen Saunders. 

1775. — De. Joshua Babcock. 

1776. — De. Major-General Joshua Babcock. De. Colonel Joseph 

1777. — De. Thomas Ross. De. James Babcock, Esq. 

1778.— De. Joshua Babcock, Esq. 

1779._De. Nathan Barber. De. Paul Clarke. 

1780. — As. Joshua Babcock. De. Joseph Noyes, Esq. De. 
Samuel Bliven. 

1781.— De. David Maxson, Esq. De. Edward Bliven, Esq. 

1782. — De. Joseph Noyes, Esq. De. Edward Bliven, Esq. 

1783. — De. Joseph Noyes, Esq. De. David Maxson. 

1784-5-6-7-8-9.— De. Joseph Noyes, Esq. De. Walter White. 

1790-1.— De. Walter White. De, George Stillman, Esq. 

1792. — De. Walter White, Esq. De. Thomas Noyes, Esq. 

1793_4_5_6-7-8-9.— De. Thomas Noyes, Esq. Rowse Babcock, 

1800. — De. Thomas Noyes, Esq. De. Christopher Babcock, 2d. 


In the following " Re." may signify Representative and "Se." 

1801-2.— Re. vSylvester Gavit. Re, William Rhodes. 

1803-4-5-6-7,— Re. Sylvester Gavit. Re. Captain Resolved 

1808-9-10,— Re. Thomas Noyes. Re. AVilliam Rhodes, 2d. 

1811-12-13.— Re. Thomas Noyes. Re. Walter White. 

1814.— Re, Walter White, Re. Nathan F. Dixon. 

1815.— Re. Nathan F Dixon. Re, Joseph M. Knowles, 

1816,— Re, Nathan F. Dixon. Re. Thomas W. Potter. 

1817-18.— Re. Nathan F. Dixon, Re, Thomas Noyes, 

1819-20,— Nathan F Dixon. Isaac Champlin. 

1821-2-8.— Nathan F. Dixon. Daniel Babcock, Jr. 

1824-5. — Nathan F, Dixon, Isaac Champlin. 

1826-7.— Nathan F. Dixon. George D. Cross. 

1828-9.— Se, George D, Cross. Re. Nathan F. Dixon. . Re. Jo- 
seph Potter, 

1830, — Re. Isaac Champlin, Re. Joshua Vose. Re. Joseph 

1831-2. — Re. George D, Cross, Re, Joseph Chapman, 

1833,— Re. John H. Cross, Re. Lyndon Taylor. 

1834-5. — Re. George D. Cross. Re. Lyndon Taylor. Re. John 
H. Cross. 

1836.— Re. Clark Saunders. Re. George W. Gavitt, 2d. 

1837 — Re, Lyndon Taylor, Re, Benadam Frink. Re, William 

1838.— Re. William C. Pendleton. Re. Benadam Frink. 

1839.— Re. Daniel Babcock, Jr. Re. Welcome A. Hoxie. Re. 
John Hiscox. 

1840.— Re. Welcome A. Hoxie. Re. Stephen Wilcox. Re. 
Daniel Babcock, Jr. 

1841.— Re. Jesse L. j\loss. Re, Edward W. Babcock. Re. 
Nathan F. Dixon, Jr. 

1842. — Re. Nathan F. Dixon, Jr. Re. Rowse Babcock. Re. 
Joseph Potter. 

1843-4 5-6.— Se. Joseph Potter. Re, Nathan F, Dixon, 
1847 -8.--Se. Welcome A. Hoxie. Re. Nathan F. Dixon. 
1849.— Se. George D. Cross. Re. Nathan F. Dixon. 
1850.— Se. George D. Cross. Re. Joseph Potter. 
1851.— Se, Stephen Wilcox. Re. Nathan F Dixon. 
1852-3-4.— Se. Charles Maxson. Re. Nathan F. Dixon. 


1855. — Se. Charles H. Denison. Re. John E. Weeden. 

1856.— Se. Enoch B. Pendleton. Re. John E. Weeden. 

1857.— Se. Bradford Bliven. Re. Daniel F. Larkin. 

1858-9.— Se. Daniel F. Larkin. Re. Nathan F. Dixon. 

I860.— Se. Charles H. Denison. Re. Nathan F. Dixon. 

1861.— Se. Charles H. Denison. Re. Nathan F. Dixon. Re. 
John E. Weeden. 

1862.— Se. James M. Pendleton. Re. Nathan F. Dixon. Re. 
John E. Weeden. 

1863^.— Se. James. M. Pendleton. Re. John E. Weeden. Re. 
Rowse Babcock. 

1865. — Se. James M. Pendleton. Re. Edwin G. Champlin. Re. 
John E. Weeden. 

1866-7.— Se. Edwin G. Champlin. Re. John E. Weeden. Re. 
Thomas V. Stillman. 

1868.— Se. Edwin G. Champlin. Re. James. W. Stillman. Re. 
Samuel H. Cross. 

1869.— Se. Samuel H. Cross. Re. John E. Weeden. Re. John 

1870.— Se. Samuel H. Cross. Re. John E. Weeden. Re. John 

1871.— Se. Samuel H. Cross. Re. Nathan F. Dixon. Re. John 

1872.— Se. Samuel H. Cross. Re. Nathan F. Dixon. Re. 
Daniel F. Larkin. 

1873.— Se. Samuel H. Cross. Re. Nathan F. Dixon. Re. J. 
Alonzo Babcock. 

1874.— Se. Samuel H. Cross. Re. Nathan F. Dixon. Re. Nathan 
H. Lang-worthy. 

1875.— Se. Samuel H. Cross. Re. Nathan F. Dixon. Re. Nathan 

1876.— Se. Samuel H. Cross. Re. Nathan F. Dixon. Re. J- 
Alonzo Babcock. 

1877._Se. Samuel H. Cross. Re. Nathan F. Dixon. Re. J. 
Alonzo Babcock. 

1878.— Se. Samuel H. Cross. Re. James M. Pendleton. Re. 
Thomas H. Peabody. 

1879.— Se. Samuel H. Cross. Re. James M. Pendleton. Re. 
Albert L. Chester. 

1880. — Se. Samuel H. Cross. Re. James M. Pendleton. Re. 
Albert L. Chester, Jr. 


1881.— Se. Samuel H. Cross. Re. James M. Pendleton. Re. 
Albert L Chester. 

1882.— -Se. Samuel H. Cross. Re. James M. Pendleton. Re. 
Albert L. Chester. 

1883.— Se. Albert L. Chester. Re. James M. Pendleton. Re. 
Jesse L. Moss, Jr. 

1884.— Se. Albert L. Chester. Re. James M. Pendleton. Re. 
Jesse L. Moss, Jr. 

1885.— Se. Nathan F. Dixon. Re. Henry E. Chamberlin. Re. 
Geo. H. Utter. 

1886.— Se. Nathan F. Dixon. Re. Henry E. Chamberlin. Re. 
George. H. Utter. 

1887.— Se. Nathan F. Dixon. Re. Henry E. Chamberlin. Re. 
George H. Utter. 

1888.— Se. Nathan F. Dixon. Re. George H. Utter. Re. Or- 
lando R. Smith. 

Town Clerks.— Joseph Clarke, from May, 1669, to June, 1700. 

John Baccock, to June, 1702. 

Joseph Pendleton, to June, 1704. 

Joseph Clarke, Jr., to June, 1705. 

Joseph Pendleton, to June, 1706. 

John Babcdck, to June, 1732. 

William Babcock, to June, 1751. 

Silas Greenman, to June, 1760. 

Joseph Crandall, to June, 1790. 

Samuel Bliven, to June, 1807. 

Jesse Maxson, Jr., to November, 1824. 

Stephen Wilcox, Jr., to June, 1830. 

Jesse Maxson, to November, 1844. 

Joseph W. Wilcox, to June, 1848. 

J. Hobart Cross, to June, 1853. 

James M. Pendleton, to June, 1855. 

William E. Parkinson, to April, 1856. 

Jirah I. Gray, to April, 1859. 

Samuel H. Cross, to April, 1883. 

William Hoxsey. 

Reverend Thomas Hiscox served the town of Westerly as 
treasurer for sixty years, and on his resignation in 1772 received 
the " unanimous thanks " of the freemen. 

Town Officers of Westerly for the year 1888 : Moderator, 
J. Alonzo Babcock ; town clerk, William Hoxsey ; town council 


— B. Court. Bentley, Gideon T. Collins, Albert H. Spicer, William 
B. Austin, Isaac S. Briggs, Alexander G. Crumb, Court. P. Chap- 
man ; town sergeant, George G. Wells ; town treasurer and col- 
lector, Wm. Court. Pendleton ; superintendent of schools, Rev- 
erend O. U. Whitford ; overseer of poor, Samuel H. Cross ; 
assessors — B. Frank Clarke, Harvey Campbell, Milo M. Clarke, 
G. S. Greenman, C. H. Saunders ; sealer of weights and measures, 
Thomas V. Stillman ; measurers of grain — Joseph H. Lewis, 
Benjamin York ; auctioneers — Gideon T. Collins, Wanton W. 
Hoxsey, Benjamin York, Benedict Crandall, Dennis Burdick, 
Jesse Wilkes, Walter P. Dixon. 

Notes of Timothy Dwight. — Timothy Dwight, president of 
Yale College, in his travels through New England in 1822, speak- 
ing of the town of Westerly, says : " About two miles from Mr. 

D 's we crossed Paukatuc river, which divides Connecticut 

from Rhode Island, and Stonington from Westerly. At the 
bridge there is a pretty village principally in Westerly, contain- 
ing perhaps twenty houses. In this village a bank has lately 
been established with a capital of one hundred thousand dollars, 
which may be increased to one hundred and fifty thousand. 
Paukatuc river forms the only harbor in Westerly, and furnishes 
excellent fisheries for bass, eels, black fish, shad and herrings. 
In the bay which is formed at its mouth these kinds of fish are 
caught in as great abundance as perhaps in any part of New 
England. Long and round clams, also oysters, and a little farther 
out in the sound lobsters are found in great numbers. 

" The land in this township is divided into two kinds. The 
border of the sound, which is generally good ; and that in the 
interior, which is a collection of hills, stony, sandy and lean, 
originally covered with shrub oaks and pitch pines. This ground, 
which constitutes a considerable part of the township, produces 
scarcely anything besides small crops of rye. On the former of 
these tracts the inhabitants are generally in good circumstances. 
On the latter, though said to be industrious, they are generally 
and indeed necessarily poor and unthrifty. Except the village 
above mentioned. Westerly is a collection of farms. 

" There is a good common school near the .bridge, styled an 
Academy. There are several other schools in the township as 
much inferior to this as the parochial schools in other parts of 
New England are to the academies. 

" Immediately after leaving Paukatuc village a traveller is 


Struck with the sudden change of the whole artificial scenery. 
The houses, a few excepted, are small, old and ragged. The 
barns vanish, and the tidy, thrifty appearance of Connecticut 
ceases. Everything indicates a want of energy, a destitution 
of all views and efforts towards improvement; a sluggish ac- 
quiescence in inconveniences and imperfections which a more 
vigorous disposition would easily remove. 

" About one-fourth of the people of Westerly are supposed to 
be Sabbatarians or Seventh Day Baptists. Some of these people 
appear to be religious, and are more distinguished by good 
morals than most of their neighbors. The remainder are chiefly 

Smith Granite Company. — While Westerly is without her 
broad river valley and comparatively destitute of broad alluvial 
lands, yet her rocks and ridges and ledges, once thought a de- 
formity, have lately been transmuted into treasures, and already 
several different quarries are yielding their crystal treasures. 
The varieties are white, blue, red and maculated. The fame of 
these quarries has already gone abroad over the whole country. 

The first quarry was discovered in 1845 by Mr. Orlando Smith 
from certain boulders and rubble stones on the surface of the 
ground. This quarry is on the farm once owned by Doctor 
Joshua Babcock, and is on the top of Rhodes hill. In 1846 Mr. 
Smith bought the farm and opened the quarry. In a few years 
Mr. Smith died and the estate has since been managed by Wil- 
liam A. Burdick and Orlando R. Smith. In May, 1887, an act of 
incorporation was granted to them by the general assembly of 
Rhode Island under the name of The Smith Granite Company, 
and the corporation was soon after organized with a cash capital 
actually paid in of $100,000, of which Mr. Isaac G. Smith is. presi- 
dent and Mr. Orlando R. Smith is treasurer. The company has 
established offices in Boston, Providence, Chicago, Utica, N. Y., 
and New Haven, Conn., to facilitate its business and to accomo- 
date its customers. It gives employment to about three hundred 
hands, and upon its premises are located a large number of 
houses, shops, sheds, a large granite store and engine houses 
containing powerful engines for pumping and hoisting purposes. 
Much valuable machinery has been added in recent years for 
polishing and finishing its work, which is driven by steam, while 
steam is also used for heating the various workshops and offices. 
The monuments that are cut from this quarry, in point of work- 


manship and design are unexcelled, while it is conceded that no 
finer specimens of granite can be produced. 

It is stated on authority that the products of this quarry excel 
almost any other granite in fineness of texture, durability and 
the power of retaining their beauty under exposure to the ele- 
ments, while its crushing resistance exceeds all others, they 
varying from six thousand to thirteen thousand pounds per 
square inch, and this enduring nineteen thousand pounds per 
square inch. These granites also admit of a beautiful crystal 
polish, and its hues, according to the views, vary from gray to 
blue black. The company also work a second quarry of a rich 
vein of red granite. This is also susceptible to a high polish and 
in many kinds of work can be used with pleasing effect. From 
these two quarries there have been paid $175,000 annually to 
workmen. Monuments have been erected by this company to 
the memory of such notable persons as Commodore Foote, Gen- 
eral Sedgewick, General Rodman, Doctor Wayland, Professor 
Stillman, Doctor Draper, Governor Washburn of Wisconsin; also 
vaults for Jay Gould, G. AV. Noble of Chicago, E. J. Beane of 
Providence, Henry Disston of Philadelphia ; also the Williams- 
burg Fire Insurance Company's building in New York city, and 
other works of equal magnitude and importance. These sub- 
stantial and beautiful mines of wealth, as represented by this 
company, are important contributors to the growth and pros- 
perity of this community, and sure to give the town of Westerly 
a name and fame of an abiding and enduring character. 

Rhode Island Granite AVorks (The New England Granite 
Works, of Hartford, Conn., proprietors). — This second quarry is 
directly northeast of the Smith Granite Company's grounds, be- 
ing on lands adjoining, and was purchased in 1866 by Mr. George 
Ledward. Ledward sold to J. G. Patterson, and it was then op- 
erated by Ledward & Patterson, and in 1869 Mr. Patterson 
bought out Mr. Ledward, and in 1875 the company was organized 
under the statute laws of the state, with Mr. J. G. Patterson as 
president, and the name was changed to the New England Gran- 
ite Works, with main office at Hartford, Conn. An office is also 
established at 1321 Proadway, N. Y., one at Cleveland, Ohio, and 
also at other leading places of the country. Of the many monu- 
mental and ornamental works of art executed by this company it 
may not be amiss to speak of one or two. The Antietam Soldier, 
for the Antietam battle field, is regarded as one of the finest co- 


lossal figures of the kind in the world. It was designed by Carl 
Conrads and cut from a single block of granite, which, when lift- 
ed from the quarry, weighed sixty tons. The statue is twenty- 
one feet six inches high, and stands on a pedestal twenty-three 
feet six inches high, the height of the whole being forty-five 
feet. This company also erected the monument commemorating 
the victory at Gettysburg. 

The New England Granite Works, of Hartford, received the 
contract for the erection of the monument to Major-General 
John E. Wool and wife, for which Major-General Wool left by 
his will the sum of $50,000. It is erected in Oakwood cemetery, 
Troy, N. Y. It is of Maine granite. 

" The monument will rarely, if ever, be surpassed by any pri- 
vate memorial to be erected in this country. Its entire height is 
75 feet and its weight 600 tons. The design represents an 
Egyptian obelisk, the monolith being 60 feet in length, and the 
largest of modern times ; approaching, in fact, the famous obe- 
lisks of Egypt. One of the most celebrated in the world is only 
eight feet longer than the one we are describing ; and though 
without a pedestal, and erected at Heliopolis, as is supposed 
some four centuries before Moses was born, it still stands erect, 
challenging the admiration and awakening the enthusiasm of 
the beholder. The Wool obelisk is mounted upon a pedestal of 
three plain bases, upon which rest a moulded base, the die, the 
neck-mould or plinth and the shaft. The lower base is 17 feet 
six inches square and two feet thick. This and the two succeed- 
ing courses are each in two stones. The fourth or moulded base 
and each above are in a single stone. In the curve of the mould 
is a military trophy cut in the granite in alto relievo, consisting of 
a sword and scabbard and the hat of a major-general handsomely 
grouped together. The die is nine feet square and six feet in 
height, sloping in form to correspond with the lines of the obe- 
lisk, and at the corners and upper edges ornamented with a 
carved moulding. The neck-mould is also embellished in like 
manner. The design, the moulding and ornamentation are all 
harmonious and in strict accord with Egyptian architecture, and 
not, as is too often the case, a medley of various styles. The 
weight of the obelisk quarried was 150 tons, or one-half the en- 
tire structure. It is of course one solid stone, and is heavier by 
at least 100 tons than any monolith ever quarried and chiseled 
in this country. It was brought to Troy upon a barge, and 


thence drawn to Oakwood by means of rollers and the multipli- 
cation of power through the use of the capstan. It would have 
required more than 100 yoke of cattle to draw it to its destina- 
tion. Made wholly of the most enduring Maine granite, nothing 
but an act of vandalism or the shock of an earthquake can over- 
throw the obelisk, much less overturn the pedestal on which it 

" The inscriptions occupy all sides of the die. On the front, 
facing the carriage way, the names of ' John Ellis AVool ' and 
' Sarah ]Moulton ' are cut, with the dates of their birth and death. 
On the reverse side is a brief and simple dedicatory inscription, 
written by the venerable William CuUen Bryant, while upon the 
opposite faces appear the order and date of General AVool's pro- 
motions, beginning with the grade of captain and closing with 
that of major-general, and a list of the battles in which the vet- 
eran took part." 

Murray & Archie are working a quarry near Chapman's 
pond, which they purchased of Horace Vose, of AVesterly, in 
November, 1883. They are quarrying stock for the trade, and 
supply large quantities for paving blocks, as well as for monu- 
mental purposes, supplying Providence, New York and other 
large cities with granite of a superior quality. The quarry oc- 
cupies seven acres of ground, and the company do a business of 
about $20,000 per year. This quarry has been in operation 
about twenty years, and has furnished to the country a large 
supply of granite material. 

Thoiipson & Briggs own and operate a quarry near that of 
Murray & Archie. They also employ a force of help, and have 
made their business profitable as well as beneficial to the country 
at large. 

Among other quarry works in the town may be mentioned 
that of Alexander G. Crumb, a mile south of Niantic post office, 
which is extensively operated ; also Chapman's Granite Works 
on the Hopkinton road, one mile east of Westerly depot. A 
large force of help is utilized at both of these works, and both 
produce some of the finest work done in the country. 

Watch Hill. — The village of Watch Hill consists of a num- 
ber of fine hotels, summer cottages, minor dwellings and a post 
office, and is located on a promontory which has the broad At- 
lantic on one side and little Narragansett bay on the other. The 
ridge of land, perhaps fifty feet above the level of the water. 


terminates at the light house. Landward it widens as it retreats, 
with a great variety of hummocks and hollows, giving a pleasing 
variety to the surface and affording many elegant sites for sum- 
mer cottages. To the beholder there is a beautiful panorama 
spread out before him on every side. To the north lies the vil- 
lage of Westerly in sight, about six miles distant ; near by, to 
the north, is the pretty little Foster's Cove, eminently suggestive 
of water fowl and fish ; 1;o the westward may be seen the broad 
bosom of the bay, studded with coasters and fishing boats plying 
their vocations. Stonington and Mystic and New London light 
are seen in the distance. Further to the left is Long Island 
sound and Fisher's island, and still further can be seen distinctly 
Montauk Point light, at the extreme eastern end of Long Island. 
Three states are in sight — Rhode Island, Connecticut and New 
York. On the left, guarding the bay from the ocean, is a long 
spit of land stretching out to Napatree Point, which fully pro- 
tects the bay from the angry ocean in the fiercest storms. On 
both sides of this spit are the bathing beaches. The Light House 
point runs out just southeast of this. Then stretching northeast 
from the Light House point is the beautiful East Beach, a hun- 
dred feet or more of clean, drj^ sand, shelving gradually down to 
the water for great distances in an almost straight line. At the 
extreme end of East Beach, Block Island, twenty miles away, 
Noye's Beach and Point Judith can be seen. 

The position of Watch Hill, almost surrounded by the ocean 
and bay, its geological formation of rocks and sand beach, the 
absence of overflowed marshes, and its high, undulating surface 
—all contribute to the salubrity of its climate. The winds, from 
whatever direction, bring the cool, bracing sea air. The temper- 
ature in summer never oppresses, and is always far below that of 
the watering places on the New Jersey coast. During the season 
blankets can rarely be spared from the beds at night. On the 
memorable 7th of September, 1881, when the thermometer 
ranged from ninety-five to one hundred and six degrees in the 
New England and Middle states (one hundred at the United 
States signal station in New York city), and indicated from 
ninety-four to one hundred and five degrees at Long Branch and 
neighboring villages on the New Jersey coast, it barely reached 
eighty at the Larkin House, Watch Hill. 

The tonic effect of this air upon the appetite, shattered nerves, 
and overworked brain is very marked, and approximates very 


closely to the benefit derived from a sea voyage. Those who are 
already strong and robust find an outlet for their exuberant life 
in long tramps over the rocky hills and sandy beaches, in row- 
ing, ocean sailing, and fishing, and, at proper seasons, gunning. 

The following is from Charles L. Norton's " American Seaside 
Resorts," published by Taintor Brothers, New York, 1881 : 

" This favorite resort owes its popularity to the magnificent 
ocean view which is obtained from the bluffs on which the hotels 
stand, to the variety of its bathing facilities, and to the excellent 
fishing and sailing which its neighboring waters afford. 

" The hill itself is a high bluff, or series of bluffs, forming the 
western extremity of Narragansett beach, which, broken only by 
inlets, stretches twenty miles eastward to Point Judith. In early 
times the highest bluff was used as a lookout for whales, and 
earlier still, it is said that the Indians maintained a watch there 
to guard against the fierce and warlike Montauks of Long Island, 
who would occasionally make a predatory expedition to the main- 
land in their canoes. 

" The formation of the coast at this point is very peculiar. A 
long and narrow sandspit makes out to the westward, and bend- 
ing at a right angle incloses a broad and shallow inner bay, whose 
waters are as quiet and safe (comparatively speaking) as a mill- 
pond. Outside of this, and yet partially protected from the ocean 
by Watch Hill point, is the beach generally used for bathing. 
Here are bathing houses and the usual accessories. The surf on 
this beach is always moderate. The writer has bathed there in 
safety when a southeaster was hurling seas heavy enough to 
swamp a frigate upon the outer beach, within five minutes' walk. 

" Last of all is this outer beach, which, owing to the undertow, 
is considered dangerous for bathers. It is, however, unsurpassed 
as a promenade, and, when viewed from the bluff, presents a 
scene which will not be readily forgotten. 

" That the hotels are full to overflowing during the season no 
one will wonder who has seen the magnificent sea view and 
experienced the other attractions of this favorite watering 

There are eight hotels at Watch Hill. They are named the 
"Ocean," the "Larkin," the "Atlantic," the "Watch Hill," the 
" Narragansett," the " Bay View," the " Plimpton," and the 
" Dickens." In these the most fastidious visitor may find clean 
rooms, the best of beds, well supplied tables and excellent ser- 


vice. There is no lack of fresh food. Excellent beef is brought 
from the Stonington markets daily. The blue fish are particu- 
larly hard and sweet. Bass, black fish, mackerel, crabs, oysters 
and hard and soft clams, are caught and served daily. Chickens, 
eggs, turkeys, milk and fresh vegetables are raised in the neigh- 
borhood and ice is abundant. 

The hotels are usually provided with large halls, dining rooms, 
kitchens, bakeries and pastry rooms, are well furnished, properly 
lighted and well supplied with electric bells, and other equip- 
ments found in all first class hotels. 

The facilities for bathing are unusually good. The light- 
house promontory, against which the sea dashes from the east, 
affords a natural breakwater to check the violence of the waves, 
and just southwest of this is the safe and beautiful Napatree 
Beach. It is so protected from the prevailing summer winds 
and currents that it is very rarely too strong for ladies and chil- 
dren. It is of such a gradual slope that bathers can go far out 
into the waters with safety. The beach is of a light gray sand, 
with here and there a deposit of small rounded pebbles, and en- 
tirely free from refuse or weeds. 

It is a pleasure that is vastly enjoyed ; at bathing hours the 
beach is crowded both in the water and on the sand. Every con- 
venience for bathing is supplied on the spot ; the bath-houses are 
only a few minutes walk from the hotels. Bathing clothes, 
towels, etc., are supplied at moderate charges. Those who bring 
their own garments can have them well taken care of by respon- 
sible persons. There are also hot and cold salt water bath- 
houses for those who do not wish to enter the sea. 

The peninsula or promontory is entirely of rock and sand. It 
rises gradually from the shore line with gentle undulations, the 
highest hill being almost a hundred feet above the sea level. 
There are no salt marshes breeding innumerable mosquitoes and 
filling the air with offensive odors at low tide, so often encoun- 
tered at or near the sea side. The surface was once covered with 
trees, but they have long since disappeared, giving place to cul- 
tivated fields and pastures, and where left wild, clad only with 
grasses and such shrubs as are usually found on coast lands, the 
laurel, the bay, the huckleberry, and other salt-air-loving plants. 
Of late many fruit and ornamental trees have been planted. 
Each new cottage with its ornamental grounds adds to the beauty 
of the landscape. 


There are also quite a number of lakelets, some so near the 
beach that they are overwhelmed from the ocean during the 
■winter storms, and continue brackish all the year round. Others 
farther inland, fed by natural springs, are- always fresh. These 
small sheets of water could easily be stocked with fish, and at 
slight expense could be converted into attractive and safe boat- 
ing and fishing ponds for children. 

The East Beach is one of the grandest attractions of the place. 
On this magnificent shore the surf never ceases. Here there is 
no bar outside, and the deep water continues so near the shore 
line that the great waves break and thunder at one's feet con- 
tinually. The grandeur of the battle of the waves is, however, 
best seen among the rocks which surround and defend the Light 
House point. The long surges roll easily in over the outermost, 
partly submerged rocks, and sweeping inward, break in clouds 
of white foam against those on the shore line, sometimes send- 
ing water and spray twenty feet in the air and again boiling and 
twirling in a hundred miniature whirlpools as they speed up the 
beach among the bowlders. Fragments of wreck, sea weeds, 
many colored and curious in form, star fish, sea urchins, stranded 
fish, and other ocean waifs, are constantly thrown up on the 
beach, and afford sport to the youngsters who frolic on the sands. 

As early as 1658 the general court of Massachusetts Bay 
granted to Captain Daniel Gookin certain lands east of the Paw- 
catuck river. These were sold and transferred to Simon Lynde, 
of Boston, in 1672. The courts of Connecticut confirmed the 
grant in 1674. Rhode Island was annexed to the dominion of 
Sir Edmund Andros in 1686, who was titled captain-general and 
governor-in-chief of His Majesty's Territory in New England. 
Simon Lynde died in 1688. His real estate was divided among 
his children, and in the distribution Watch Hill was assigned to 
his son, Nathaniel Lynde, of- Saybrook, who in turn sold it to 
James Pendleton. The deed of conveyance was executed in Bos- 
ton, February 28th, 1688, and the same may be found on the 
records of Old vStonington. The document is very quaint and 
antiquated. We copy the description of the property here for 
the enlightenment of the reader. He conveys : 

" All that his farms, tract, persell, or neck of land Commonly 
Called or known by the Several name or names of'Pawcktuck 
alios Squamochuck neck, beginning at a stake stuck in the East 
side of a Creek one Rod west of the mouth thereof ; the said 


Creek being between two small Necks of upland, and Runs into 
a peace of saltt Marsh, at the head of a Cove being on the East 
side of pauckatuck River, which said stake is the North Easterly- 
Corner. And from thence in a straight Lyne South fifteen de- 
grees East to Cross the said Neck three hundred and fifty eight 
Rod by mark trees and heapes of stones into the salt Water pond 
Called Massachuge, which is the south East Corner, from thence 
bounded southerly by said pond and beach and watch hill pond 
and beach as said ponds and beaches joynes unto the upland with 
whatch hill peyntt being the south west corner, from thence 
westerly by the beach and the harbor, including the hummocks 
and Marsh thearto adjoining on the turn of the beach, that makes 
the harbor along by the East side of said harbor and Cove to the 
mouth of pauchtuck River, theare being the noath westerly Cor- 
ner, from thence bounded on the Northward by the Southeast- 
erly side of said River and Coves as they Lye unto the first 
station ; being the Noath Easterly Corner. So that the whole is 
bounded Easterly by lands Not Laid outt. Southerly by said 
ponds and beaches. Westerly by the harbor and Coves, Northerly 
by the Aforesaid River and Coves, Containing one thousand 

The Nash famiily were the pioneer landlords of Watch Hill. 
The first place of public entertainment was built by Captain 
Jonathan Nash about the year 1833. This house was kept in the 
family until about the year 1863, and then passed out of their 
hands. This was called The Watch Hill Honse, and is now the 
property of Hale & Co. The Nash family kept boarders for a 
number of years. The property finally passed into the hands of 
Mr. Berger, of New York. This transfer was made in 1863. In 
1869 Mr. Berger sold it to D. F. Larkin & Co., and in 1871 Hale 
& Co. became the possessors. The house has had a number of ad- 
ditions, one annex recently made adding fifty rooms to it. There 
are now one hundred and seventy-eight rooms in all, many of 
which, including halls, dining room 95 by 35 feet, office room, 
etc., are very large. The house is well equipped in every partic- 
ular, and is most handsomely located on the hill, affording a good 
view of the surrounding scenery. It has a frontage of 165 feet, 
and a wing of 100 feet, encompassed by broad piazzas. 

The A tlantic House, built by Maxson & Co. before the late war, 
was the next hotel erected. It passed through a number of 
hands, and finally came into the possession of Orrin F. Spencer, 


the present owner, who bought the property about fifteen years 
ago. It has about sixty-five rooms, and like the other houses, 
excels in its accommodations. 

The Plimpton House, pleasantly situated within one hundred 
feet of the bay, was built by S. A. Plimpton & Co. in 1865. It 
subsequently passed into the hands of the AVashington Savings 
Bank at Westerly, and afterward to Mr. Griswold. The property 
includes the Bay View and Dickens houses, and is at present 
owned by William Hill. Sixty new sleeping rooms and other 
apartments have been lately added to the original number, in- 
creasing the original size and value of the property to some con- 
siderable extent. 

The Dickens House, above mentioned, was built by Captain 
Harry Dickens, and used as a boarding house. 

The Ocean House was built by Nathan Xash in 1868. It has 
been enlarged from time to time, and contains now one hundred 
rooms. It passed into the hands of Edward S. Brewer, and he 
in 1884 put in all modern fixtures, making of it a first-class 

The Larkin House is the largest house on the hill. It will ac- 
commodate four hundred guests, having been latel}- enlarged by 
an addition 111 by 25 feet. The original property on this site 
was erected in 1868, and opened up the next year by Daniel F. 
Larkin & Co. Since that time four additions have been made — 
in 1873, 1885, 1886 and 1888. There are now two hundred and 
six rooms in the house. The rooms are large, with high ceilings, 
airy and well furnished, and the house is lighted throughout 
with gas, and has electric bells, etc. 

Watch Hill Light House. — The first light house on the promon- 
tory was opened in 1802. The contractor was Air. Elisha Wood- 
ward of New London. May 2d, 1806, by a vote of the town, the 
ownership and main jurisdiction of Watch Hill point were trans- 
ferred to the state to be transferred to the United States that the 
beacon and its premises might be under national control. The 
present light house was built in 1856. The first light keeper was 
Mr. Jonathan Nash. He faithfully trimmed his lamps for twenty- 
seven years, and then succumbed to the change made under the 
Jackson administration. 

The list of light keepers at Watch Hill presents the following 
names : Jonathan Nash, Enoch Vose, Gilbert Pendleton, Daniel 
Babcock, Ethan Pendleton, Nelson Brown, Daniel F. Larkin, 


Jared S. Crandall. Mr. Crandall died a few years ago, and his 
widow now keeps it. 

The Old Foster House.— Among the objects of local attraction to 
the antiquarian is the " Foster " house, built a century and a 
half ago. Though it has been remodeled, it retains the essentials 
of the colonial architecture. Two great chimneys rise through 
the center of the roof. Its frame timbers were all hewn by hand, 
and are as solid to-day as when put up. There is no studding on 
its outer walls ; the rooms are all finished with wood, the ceilings 
low, and the rooms small, but are so arranged as to accommodate 
quite a large family. 

The old graveyard near by in a hollow will soon be entirely 
obliterated. Many of the remains and their tomb stones have 
been removed to the cemetery at Westerly. Most of the old 
head-stones have crumbled away, and the outlines of the ancient 
mounds are scarcely to be distinguished. One remaining stone 
has the date of 1740. 

A neat church, with a seating capacity of four hundred, built 
by the contributions of a few liberal visitors, stands near the 
center of the village. It is undenominational, but its pulpit is 
regularly supplied all the summer through, mainly by visiting 

The Watch Hill post office building was erected in 1883 by 
D. F. Larkin, and at that time the post office was established. 
Mr. F S. Aldrich is the present postmaster. 

There are the usual stores, etc., in the place. William Segar 
is proprietor of a good supply store of groceries, provisions, etc., 
and a good livery stable, owned by Mr. C. Lanphear, is at the 
service of the guests of the various hotels. 

Ocean View. — This place is situated a few miles northeast of 
Watch Hill, and not far from the extreme southeastern part of 
the town, and is surrounded by a beautiful country. The house 
is located on the site at one time occupied by Ninigret, the 
sachem chief. The owner and proprietor of this resort is W. S. 
Gavitt, who is descended from Ezekiel Gavitt (born December 
25th, 1683, married Hannah Wilcox April 22d, 1704), to whom 
Ninigret made a deed of this tract of land, about a mile square, 
receiving as pay therefor a jug of rum, some blankets, and a few 
trinkets of minor value, etc. The original house on this site was 
erected about the year 1704. It stood until after the great Sep- 
tember gale of 1815, when it was torn down. Situated as it was 


on the old Post road (then known as the King's Highway) it be- 
came a stopping place for the stage coaches running between 
Providence and New London, and as such was one of the early- 
hotels of the county. After the building of railroads travel was 
diverted, and from that time till twenty years ago it passed from 
public notice. 

As soon as the pleasure seeker and sea side visitor discovered 
the attractiveness of this site it came again before the public, 
and now, because of the magnificent view it presents and of the 
delectableness of the air and surroundings, and of the good table, 
the rooms of this house are certain to be kept full ever}' season. 
Mr. AV. S. Gavitt's father, Joseph Gavitt, was major of a regiment 
in the war of 1812 ; and his grandfather, John Gavitt, was a 
colonel in the revolution. 

Potter Hill. — The following sketch of Potter Hill was writ- 
ten principally by I\Iiss ^Nlaria Potter : " Going back as far as pos- 
sible to the origin of business in this locality, Ave find ' the dam 
at Potter Hill owned by Samuel IMaxson and John Davis.' Mr. 
Maxson was the great-grandson of John Maxson, one of the first 
planters. ' Prior to 1762, there was a dam and grist-mill at the 
meeting-house bridge, about one mile up the stream, owned by 
Peter Crandall ; as this dam flowed valuable meadow lands above, 
the land-owners purchased and leveled it. The grist mill was 
purchased by John Davis, and removed to Potter Hill, on the 
Westerly side of the river. Afterward a saw mill that had been 
erected on the east side, was transferred to the west side. After 
occupying the mills for a few years, on the 10th of January, 1775, 
the grist mill, saw mill and fulling mill, with two dwelling 
houses and sixteen acres of land, were purchased of John and 
William Davis, for 300 pounds sterling, by George Potter, and 
operated by him till his death, in 1794.' He was known as ' the 
honest miller,' even 'to a kernel of corn.' He also opened a 
store, which was continued by his son, and afterward by his 
grandsons. He owned two houses, a grist mill, a saw mill, and a 
fulling mill. The family papers also testify that he built here 
several vessels. He left three sons, George, Jr., Joseph and 
Nathan, who carried on the business left by the father, till the 
death of George, Jr., in 1801. This George, 2d, was engaged 
many years in ship-building, and in cod-fishing at the Straits of 
Belle Isle, 'being the first man from the United States, after the 
close of the Revolution, to go to Green Island (in the Bay of St. 


Lawrence).' ' At Newfoundland, on board an English vessel, he 
saw the Duke of Clarence, afterward William IV.' He remem- 
bered him particularly from a little incident, namely : in a sud- 
den shower the duke took from a box in his pocket a water-proof 

" Some time after the death of George, his brother Nathan be- 
came embarrassed in business, and his rights were sold to the re- 
maining brother, Joseph, who also bought the rights of the heirs 
of George, and so became sole proprietor. In 1810, Joseph com- 
menced the manufacture of cotton in a part of the old mill, said 
to be the first pound of cotton manufactured in Westerly. Soon 
after, in 1812, he began his cotton factory at a cost of $9,000. He 
had previously been engaged in foreign trade, and sent vessels 
to the West Indies and to Barcelona, in Spain. This business 
was damaged by the 'embargo of 1806.' In this business Gen- 
eral William Williams, of Stonington, says of him, ' Esquire Pot- 
ter is the most independent man I ever knew.' 

" About the year 1796, the Potter Brothers were sued by Zach- 
eus Reynolds for not opening the fish gap in their dam at the 
usual time, the 20th of ]\Iarch. The neglect was occasioned by 
a freshet; and the man who sawed the plate at last, did so at the 
peril of his life. The case was in the law seven years, and was 
finally gained by the defendants. Many people were interested 
here in catching alewives and shad. A scoop net would some- 
times compass three shad at a time. Once, at the mouth of the 
Neshungansett, or Mile brook, a few rods below, ten thousand 
alewives were caught at a time in a seine. 

" The brothers, Joseph and Nathan Potter, for a time built 
boats for the Green Island fisher)-, building from ten to fifteen 
per year, some of them holding four tons. These were floated 
down to tidewater. They also built sloops, schooners, and at 
one time even a ship; framing them at Potter Hill, and then 
taking them apart and rebuilding them at Westerly. During the 
war of 1812, two gunboats. No. 91 and No. 92, sloop-rigged, were 
built by them in the same inanner, under the superintendence 
of Captain Phipps, an agent of the government. 

" Mr. Potter's cotton mill was at first a success. During the last 
war he was offered three cents a hank for spinning No. 12 yarn, 
having the cotton furnished. This was the beginning of the 
manufacture of fabrics in this region. Mr. Potter also opened 
the second store, in a wing of his house. The cotton-spinning 


and cotton-dressing business was carried on under the name of 
Joseph Potter & Sons, till 1814, when the father sold his right to 
his sons, who continued the business under the firm of Thomas 
W. & Joseph Potter & Co.' The ' & Co.' included, first and last, 
all the brothers, Henry, Robert T. and William. Toward the 
close of the war Mr. Potter's business so languished that it was 
thought ' he sunk $13,000 by the factory.' 

" As previously stated, ' Joseph Potter was also engaged in mer- 
cantile business ; and it was about the year 1791 that the serious 
burglary occurred, occasioning a great stir in the community. 
The burglars were Thomas Mount, William Stanton and James 
Williams. They came in the night, took a crow-bar from the 
saw mill, broke open the grist mill, emptied the bags of grain on 
the ice, and then broke open the store attached to Mr. Potter's 
house, and filled the bags with silks, cotton fabrics, and other 
valuables, worth about $800. Most of the goods were afterward 
found secreted in stacks and barns in Stonington, and some in 
Candlewood Hill in Groton. Williams turned state's evidence, 
and thus escaped punishment. Stanton received a severe public 
whipping. Mount was tried, and hung at Kingston, having con- 
fessed that he should have killed Mr. Potter, had he made his ap- 
pearance, and also that this was the thirtieth burglary that he 
had committed. He seems to have been a hardened criminal.' 
This is the last instance of capital punishment that occurred in 
Washington county. The law then inflicted this penalty upon 
burglars who entered private dwellings. 

" About this time, 1792, ' Nathan Potter had a blacksmith shop 
at the west end of the bridge, which he removed to the east side 
of the river, and added to it a trip-hammer. This property, af- 
ter his failure in 1814, was owned by Daniel and Oliver Babcock, 
excellent men and good workmen, who continued the smith bus- 
iness till 1858, when the shop was removed, the privilege having 
been sold by Daniel Babcock, in 1851, to the owners of the prop- 
erty on the other side of the stream.' 

" Thomas W. & Joseph Potter & Co., mentioned in a previous 
paragraph, enlarged the manufacturing business, and worthily 
conducted it, till 1843, when they sold mills and privilege to 
Messrs. Edwin and Horace Babcock. 

" In 1800 the place could boast but three residences near the 

" Joseph Potter, father of Thomas W., Joseph and Henry, died 


December 14th, 1822, at the age of sixty-three, a man of industry, 
ability, integrity, decision, generosity and piety. ' He was long 
a pillar and clerk of the old Sabbatarian Church, when it num- 
bered near nine hundred members.' 

" The progenitor of this worthy Potter family was Martin Pot- 
ter, who is reported to have been a son of one of the Regicides — 
one of the judges that condemned Charles I. On the restoration 
of the monarchy, he fled to this country, and took shelter with 
his cousins in South Kingstown, R. I., where he lived till his 
death. He was reticent in respect to his history. It appears, 
however, that he owned a large estate in North Shields, on the 
banks of the Tyne, in England— in the midst of the coal region 
—property valued in 1835, at $9,000,000. Before his flight he 
leased this estate for ninety-nine years. At the expiration of the 
lease, an attempt was made to confiscate the property, and it 
passed into the charge of the Bishop of Durham. Measures 
were instituted, prior to the revolution, to recover it ; these were 
broken up by the war. During the present century, the suit has 
been re-opened, and is still pending. The estate embraces 
' something like 400 acres, one mile of docks, and near 300 

" As one of the witnesses and noble representatives of Potter 
Hill and Hopkinton, mention should be made of Deacon Daniel 
Babcock, or, as he was often called. Judge Babcock. He was 
born in North Stonington August 31st, 1762. He was a black- 
smith, and commenced business at Potter Hill, where he married. 
For forty-six years he was justice of the peace ; for nine years, 
from 1807 to 1816, he was a member of the upper house of the 
state, elected by general prox, and carried with him the suffrage 
of all parties, retaining the office by a unanimous vote. For ten 
years he was a judge of the county court for Washington county. 
He was the intimate friend and counselor of Governors Fenner, 
Knight and others. As a Christian man, he honorably main- 
tained his profession for sixty-three years, and for fifty -eight years 
he was a deacon in the staunch old Sabbatarian church in Hop- 
kinton, in which church he also served as chorister for nearly 
half a century. He belonged to the soundly Evangelical portion 
of his denomination ; was the intimate friend and relative of 
Reverend Rtifus Babcock ; was loved and honored by Reverend 
Stephen Gano, and others, of Providence ; and was sent for, far 
and near, as arbiter and counselor in difficult cases in church 


and in private life. He served for a short time in the revolution- 
ary army. He died in Hopkinton September 18th, 1846. His 
brother, Doctor Christopher Babcock, was a distinguished sur- 
geon in the revolutionary army, and died in the service." 

J. P. Campbell & Co., the purchasers of the mills of R. & A. 
Babcock, employ about two hundred hands and manufacture fine 
fancy cassimeres. The store and post office at this place are kept 
by A. R. Andrews. 

Lottery Village. — About two miles north of Watch Hill is 
the quiet little village of Lotteryville, so called from the fact 
that the owner of the lands whereon most of the village stands. 
Colonel Joseph Pendleton, in consideration of losses sustained 
by himself and his kindred, received from the state a lottery 
grant in which the successful tickets drew house lots previously 
laid out on his own lands. Thus the place derived its unfortu- 
nate name. The land was laid out in one hundred and twenty- 
six house lots under a grant given in February, 1749, and exe- 
cuted by Isaac Sheffield and Elias Thompson, aided by W. Bab- 
cock as surveyor. 

This village has been distinguished for its large number of 
sailors and ship masters, many of whom engaged in whale fish- 
ing, some of whom still reside there. Properly this village stands 
at the head of navigation, the river above being narrow and 

A branch of the First Baptist church in the village of Westerly 
was organized here on the 7th of February, 1843. The constituent 
members were Lyman Hall, David Pendleton, Ethan Pendleton, 
Jesse N. Brown, Abby P. Hall, Sarah Pendleton, Phebe A. Pen- 
dleton and Eunice Brown. The meetings were held in the school 
house till 1848, when a meeting house was erected at a cost of 
$1,200. In the summer of 1849 the branch became an inde- 
pendent church with thirty-three members. The first pastor. 
Reverend Nicholas H. Matteson, was ordained October 18th, 1849. 
Lyman Hall and Nathan Fitch were deacons. The first house 
was destroyed by fire in 1851. The present house was built in 
1852. In 1865 the membership of this church returned as a 
branch to the church from which it sprung. 

White Rock. — This village was originally called Crumb's 
Neck, so named because a portion of the land jutting into the 
river was once owned by Sylvester Crumb. One of the first 
bridges across the Pawcatuck was a little below this village. It 


connected the farms of Weeden H. Berry of Westerly with those 
of Stephen Babcock of Stonington. There were grist mills here 
during the revolution which were about that time owned and 
operated by Mr. George Bentley. The village of White Rock 
has sprung up within the past twenty-five years. In speaking 
of the growth of this place, Mr. Denison says : 

" The valuable mill privilege was owned by Captain Saxton 
Berry, and was sold by him, with the land adjoining, for the sum 
of $1,300 to Messrs. Blodgett, Stafford & Simmons. These gen- 
tlemen caused the necessary surveys to be made ; a dam was 
built, and a large dwelling house was erected. For some reason, 
said to have been the finding of a ivliite rock in the river, the 
company took the name of White Rock Company. A pleasant 
autumnal day was chosen for the purpose of christening the new 
village, which as yet only existed in paper plans. The meeting 
for this purpose was held in the shade of some old oaks which 
bordered the woods. The moderator on this occasion was Edward 
Hiscox, an old revolutionary pensioner, well known in this 
vicinity at that time. 

"William P. Blodgett and James F. Simmons, both of Provi- 
dence, with others whose names have not been preserved, made 
appropriate speeches. Refreshments, such as crackers and 
cheese, with punch, were placed upon the table and distributed 
among the crowd. It is said that by some oversight the com- 
mittee of arrangements neglected to bring the sugar needed in 
making the punch, and this part of the entertainment had to be 
deferred till a messenger could go to Pawcatuck and return with 
the indispensable article. This delay proved an augury of the 
fate which awaited their enterprise. Although long delayed, it 
was finally completed, and has become one of the witnesses of 
Westerly, a monument to the enterprise and sagacity of her 

" Soon after the event described above, one of the partners 
died, and the times being unfavorable, operations were sus- 
pended. After the lapse of several years, Messrs. Rowse Bab- 
cock and Jesse L. Moss, having bought out the other parties, took 
the enterprise in hand. Twenty-four of the tenements are pre- 
cisely alike. The twelve double houses stand in a line on the east 
side of the street. The mill was built in 1849, of cut granite and 
pressed brick ; was 185 feet long, 50 feet wide, and five stories 
high, with a tower 22 feet square and 90 feet high ; and contained 


] 0,152 spindles, and produced annually 1,400,000 yards of rolled 
jaconets and fine shirtings. The superintendents have been. 

Isaac Hall, Alvin Greene, Chace and Angelo Rowland. 

Only a little over one-half of the available power was used, until 
the village, in 1873, was purchased by Messrs. B. B. & R. Knight, 
of Providence. The Messrs. Knight have, since they purchased 
this estate, expended large sums of money, enlarging the mills, 
putting in engines, building dwelling houses and beautifying 
the grounds, the village now being nearly twice the size it was 
when purchased by them. 

" In 1856 a neat and commodious school house, 30 by 40 feet, 
was built by the proprietors of the village, and has been occupied 
ever since for school purposes without cost to the district. After 
several preliminary meetings had been held, a Sabbath school 
was organized July 24th, 1851, with Stephen A. Greene, superin- 
tendent ; Philip Tillinghast, vice-superintendent ; James Cole, 
librarian, and Samuel B. Clark, clerk, who was succeeded August 
10th of the same year by J. D. Taylor. A room in one of the 
dwelling houses was fitted up with seats at the expense of its 
owners, and used by the school for many years. At present its 
sessions are held in the school house, which is also used for pub- 
lic worship. The winter of 1856 and '57 was made memorable 
by a great revival, in which over fifty were converted. During 
the war a Soldiers' Aid Society was formed, an exhibition was 
given by the young people for its benefit, and valuable aid was 
rendered at a time when it was most needed. Over twenty of 
the young men of the village enlisted in the loyal army ; two of 
them lost their lives in the service of their country, and to-day 
sleep beneath Southern soil. Seldom has White Rock, in the 
winter season been without either a singing school, evening 
school or lyceum. Its '■ Excelsior Club ' had an existence of over 
two years. 

" In reviewing the history of this village, we feel the con- 
viction that it has contributed materially to the life and pros- 
perity of the town. It is a noble witness to enterprising men." 

NiANTlc. — This village has been called by different names. 
The oldest designation of the place was " Shattuck's Weir." 
Shattuck was the name of an Indian who was associated with 
the early history of the place. Later still it was termed Dorrville, 
from the fact that most of the residents of this place were fol- 
lowers of Thomas Dorr. Recently the name has been changed 


to Niantic. The fall of the river at Shattuck's Weir bridge was 
early occupied as a mill privilege. Stephen Saunders and Dea- 
con Samuel Gardner built the present bridge there prior to 1758. 
A saw mill at that time was put up. Works were also erected on 
the north side of the stream, but these were destroyed by a 
freshet and never reconstructed. 

Samuel Gardner, 2d, and Augustus vSaunders owned property 
in 1792 on both sides of the stream. A grist mill was next built. 
Afterward a small factory for custom carding and cloth dress- 
ing was erected by Colonel Joseph Knowles. Mr. Knowles' son, 
John T. Knowles, put up the first woolen mill, running only four 
looms. This mill was finally sold to William P. Arnold, who 
failed. The present wooden mill, superseding the old one, which 
was burnt, was erected by Mr. Arnold in 1846, in which year the 
property was leased to Doctor John E. Weeden of Westerly. In 
1851 Doctor Weeden purchased the property. In 1857 he sold 
the mills to Wager Weeden, his father, who built the stone mill 
in 1864. From 1866 to 1868 the mills were leased and operated 
by the Niantic Woolen Manufacturing Company, but afterward 
passed again into the hands of the Weedens, Doctor J. E. Weeden 
acting as agent at the time of the failure, some four years ago. 
The Carmichael Manufacturing Company then took it, but they 
failed in 1886. The mills are now idle. 

Isaac Vars was one of the first residents of this place, coming 
here in 1732. The house in which he lived is still standing, 
and is now occupied by Edwin C. Vars. Isaac Vars, Jr., was 
the father of Charles Vars, who has been station agent at 
Niantic for the Providence & Stonington railroad during the past 
forty-four years. Alfred G. Vars, brother to Charles, an old 
merchant, is also a resident of this village. 

The first store in Niantic was started by Isaac Vars, Jr., in 
1845. He kept store, the post office and express office for thirty 
years, keeping the post office until, Cleveland's administration. 
The store building is now a tenement house, and was occupied 
last by Amos P. Sims. The post office is now kept by George C. 
James. Joseph Hiscox built the next store in 1846, and he 
traded here some thirty years, when he sold out to Frank Bur- 
dick and went to Westerly. Peter Parks now owns this store. 
In 1850 Alfred G. Vars built the third store in the place, in which 
he still carries on trade. John E. AVeeden built the fourth store 
in 1857. It was occupied last by B. F. Barber, who traded there 


several years. In 1886 Enoch W. Vars, son of Charles, built the 
drug store. He is a registered pharmacist, and has been in the 
drug trade for twenty years. 

Joseph Mumford Knowles bought the Niantic property of 
Samuel Gardner, and moved there from Mumford mill about 
1800. He and his wife, Dorcas, daughter of John Tillinghast, 
of Exeter, R. I., trace their descent from some of the most 
noted of the settlers in the states. John Tillinghast was a 
cloth dresser. His first manufacturing was woolen yarn, which 
he put otit to be woven in farmers' families, and when woven, 
dyed, dressed and sold it. He built the first mill at Niantic, 
and commenced manufacturing there in company with Rowse 
Babcock, of Westerly. This was Mr. Babcock's first venture in 
the manufacturing business. John Tillinghast afterward sold 
the Niantic mill, and bought at Shannock, and built the first 
manufactories there. From there he moved to East Green- 

Joseph M. Knowles is a descendant of William Knowles, the 
first settler on five hundred acres of land on Kingston Hill, 
now owned and occupied by the Potter family. Colonel Joseph 
M. Knowles was a cloth dresser. He dyed, fulled and finished 
up the cloth woven in farmers' families. Of ten children born 
to Joseph and Dorcas Knowles, two died in infancy, and five 
sons and three daughters grew to maturity. Joseph Knowles 
was apprenticed to Mr. Stover in Stonington, who was a printer. 
He afterward went to Providence and formed a partnership 
with Josiah Jones, and subsequently became one of the proprie- 
tors of the Providence Journal, of the firm of Knowles & An- 
thony. Jireh M. Knowles, another son, was a manufacturer, 
and was also president of the Niantic bank. William was a 
lawyer in Providence. Mumford Gardner lives at the home- 
stead. Ann Whitman did not marry. Celia was married to 
John Stanton, and after his death became the second wife of 
Hon. James N. Kenyon, of Charlestown. 

About the year 1825 Elder Thomas Tillinghast, a Six Principle 
Baptist minister, having charge of and preaching to the church 
in Richmond, worshipping at the Wood River meeting house, 
held meetings here in the school house. He was an earnest, 
emotional evangelist, drew large audiences, and eventually 
formed a society in Niantic of more than thirty members. He 
was the son of Elder Pardon Tillinghast, and his son Elder Gil- 


bert succeeded him in the Wood River church. About the year 
of 1867 they had a revival and built a meeting house near Bur- 
dickville in Charlestown ; and since the death of Elder Gilbert 
hold meetings there occasionally. Elder Pardon Tillinghast was 
a preacher of the First Baptist church of Providence. 

Before the town of Westerly was divided into school districts 
proprietary schools were maintained and kept a few months at 
a time in farmers' houses. Joseph M. Knowles having a saw 
mill and woodland, built a school house and gave it free of 
charge to the district, until the town was divided into districts. 
Thomas Durfee, the first teacher, taught the first school about 
1824. He was a student of Brown University. School the next 
summer was taught by Lydia Taft, of Uxbridge, Mass. These 
teachers were sent out by a society in Providence interested in 
promoting education in the state. Miss Taft seems to have had 
strong religious feelings and a missionary spirit. Sally Knowles, 
eldest daughter of Joseph M. Knowles, then about sixteen years 
of age, became an ardent Christian professor. She afterward 
taught school at Niantic and near Potter Hill. She established 
and kept the first Sabbath school at Niantic, and also the first 
year in Potter Hill and Ashaway. At Niantic she raised money 
and bought a small library consisting of scripture question books, 
etc. The school was opened with prayer and conducted much 
like week day schools of the period. 

She was married to E. B. Lewis and moved to Hampton, Conn. 
Her eldest son is principal in charge of the schools of a school 
district in New Haven. Several of her grandchildren are teach- 
ers, and two of them are graduates of Yale College. 

The post office building was erected by Peter Parks in 1887. 

" Encouraged by Doctor Weeden, the pastor of the First Bap- 
tist church at Westerly commenced regular meetings in the vil- 
lage, in a private residence, the boarding house. These meet- 
ings finally restilted in the formation of a regular Baptist church 
in 1851, termed the Niantic Baptist church, which counted seven- 
teen constituent members. In the meantime a meeting house 
was erected at a cost of '$1,000. The house measures 28 by 38 
feet, has 38 slips, and seats near two hundred persons. The first 
regular pastor of this church was Reverend Simon B. Bailey, and 
the first deacon was George W. Champlin. 

" A small Sabbatarian church was embodied in this vicinity in 
1858, and in 1866 secured a meeting house. This house formerly 


stood on the site of the houses occupied by the First Sabbatarian 
church of this region, having been erected there by a disaffected 
few, on the removal of the large house to the vicinity of Potter 
Hill and Ashaway, and thence called, from the circumstance of its 
origin, the ' Spunk Meeting House.' 

" A bank, called the Hopkinton Bank, was organized here in 
185-, with a capital of $200,000. The officers were Stephen 
Wright, president ; D. M. C. Stedman, cashier. By the financial 
reactions of 1857, this institution was crippled and finally closed." 

The Indian Church. — Roger Williams was the sincere and 
constant friend of the Indians. He labored earnestly and lov- 
ingly for their temporal and spiritual welfare, and they never 
wholly forgot the important and happy truths he announced. 
He was intimate with King Ninigret and labored with the Ni- 
antics to bring to them the glad tidings of the Gospel. The 
church was formed in 1750. Samuel Niles an Indian exhorter, 
was also a zealous and efficient exhorter among these people. 

" Backus states that the first ordained minister of this church 
was James Simons, a member of the tribe. The date of his min- 
istry is not given. Reverend Samuel Niles, born on Block Island 
in 1674 ; a graduate of Harvard College in 1 699 ; a preacher in 
Kingstown from 1702 to 1710 ; ordained in Braintree, Mass., in 
1711 ; the author of several works, among which is a History of 
the French and English Wars, written in 1760 — in his latter years 
' returned to Rhode Island, and became pastor of a church in 
Charlestown composed chiefly of Indians.' This record must 
refer to the church of the Niantics. As Mr. Niles was a Presby- 
terian, this church, like other New Light bodies, practised mixed 
communion. Both from this fact, and from the unstable ele- 
ments in the tribe, the history of the church has been checkered, 
and its fortunes have followed the waning life of the tribe. It is 
now a Free Will Baptist church, in a weak condition, agitated 
by Advent doctrines, and conspicuous chiefly for its annual mass 
meetings in August, after an old Indian custom. 

" By the records of another church, we find that Elder Thomas 
Ross was officiating here in 1770. The next minister was Samuel 
Niles, a member of a tribe (not to be confounded with the Samuel 
Niles named above, who died in 1762, aged eighty-eight years). 
Under the ministry of this second Samuel Niles, the first meet- 
ing house was erected, and much prosperity attended the 
church. Mr. Niles was reported to be ' one of the most eminent 


Indian preachers in America.' The revolution seriously affected 
this as well as all other churches. Some of its members entered 
the patriot army. At the close of the war the body numbered 
only fifty members ; the congregation, of course, was much larger. 
After Mr. Niles's pastorate the body was weakened by changes, 
and especially by the modification of the life of the tribe. 

" John Sekatur was the successor of Mr. Niles, and, like his 
predecessor, left a good memory among his people. The last 
important minister was Moses Stanton, ordained March 17th, 
1823 — an upright, faithful man, who toiled effectively for his 
fading tribe, but finally, near 1844, emigrated to Ann Arbor in 
Michigan, where he died — having met with a fatal accident 
while engaged in digging a well. In 1827 the church numbered 
ninety-three members. Near this time the deacons were Samuel 
Nocake and Samuel Fletcher. 

"George Champlin, ordained as an evangelist by this body, 
August 16th, 1841, afterward established a church in War- 
wick, R. I., and thence moved to Providence. Aaron Sekatur, 
the last regular pastor of the church, was ordained near 1858. 
He was more of an exhorter than a preacher. 

"The feeble body yet remaining has latterly been bruised and 
poisoned by wandering errorists. Some men of judgment, how- 
ever, remain. The clerk serving the body in 1869 was Joshua 
Noka, who is a speaker as well as a scribe. The present meet- 
ing house, composed of stone, was built near 1860, upon the site 
of the former house, in a secluded spot, apart from the frequented 
roads, though on an open way. This may one day be the last 
monument of civilization left by the once mighty Niantics. 

" But for the existence and influence of this Christian church, 
doubtless the remnant of the Niantic monarchy, like the most of 
the other tribes in our land, would long since have passed away. 
Like salt it has preserved them from utter decay. From this 
church, as a radiant center, knowledge and power has constantly 
flowed to the humble abodes of these children of the forest. 
Human language cannot express all the enlightening, restrain- 
ing, purifying, elevating, redeeming influences of a Christian 

Presbyterian Church.— This church was organized under 
the direction of the " New England Society for the Propagation 
of the Gospel," the Reverend Joseph Park being sent May, 1733, 
to the Indians and such English as would attend in Westerly. 


The house of -worship was probably erected soon after Mr. Park's 
coming to Westerly. To this church belongs the honor of insti- 
tuting the first'Sabbath school in the town, and one of the first 
in the state. 

The Union Meeting House. — This house lately stood on the 
knoll in the center of the village. Mr. Denison, quoting another 
writer, when speaking of this house, says ; 

" Of the origin of this house, a worthy friend writes as fol- 
lows : ' I would not detract from the merits of others, who labored 
to erect that house of worship, but it seems to me there was one 
modest young man teaching a select school in Westerly at that 
time, whose name and exertions in this connection should not be 
forgotten. I refer to Charles P. Otis, afterward a distinguished 
professor and teacher in Bacon Academy, Colchester, Conn. He 
was a Congregationalist, and at his death, January 7, 1837, was a 
deacon of^that faith.' 

" Mr. Otis was born April 22d, 1790. On his father's farm till 
seventeen years of age, he carried books in his pockets into the 
field, and always had one within reach at the house — a habit that 
characterized him through life. Prior to his services in Westerly 
he was a teacher in Montville,'Conn. He left Westerly in 1824 
to pursue his studies in Colchester and in Williams College, from 
which he was called to act as principal of Bacon Academy from 
1826 till his death. He received the degree of A. B. from Wil- 
liams College, and the honorary degree of A. M. from Yale Col- 
lege in 1829. In industry, method, zeal, scholarship, purity, and 
piety, he was an uncommon man. Dying before he had reached 
his forty-seventh year, he was greatly mourned. His monument 
stands in the cemetery in Colchester. 

" The village of Westerly owes not a little to his influence, and 
several of the first business men of Westerly were trained under 
this accomplished teacher. Mr. Otis was said to have originated 
the plan, and by personal solicitation to have secured the funds 
for erecting the Union House, exertions of which he always spoke 
with satisfaction. 

" The plan contemplated the accommodation of all Christian 
denominations, as the citizens might be able to secure preaching. 
The house was built in 1822, the architect being Mr. Benjamin 
Palmer. It was the property of stockholders who held it by 
charter under certain stipulated regulations. A fund was also 
raised for the maintenance of worship. William Woodbridge, 


Esq., of Stonington, gave $400 on condition that the citizens 
should raise an equal amount, which condition was met. To 
this was added $2,800 realized by a chartered lottery scheme. 
Thus the fund rose to $3,600. The dedication sermon was 
preached by Rev. David Austin, a Congregational clergyman of 
Connecticut, a man of true piety and great eloquence, but un- 
fortunate, in after years, in his views of prophecy. 

" Here rose the first church steeple, and here rang out the first 
church bell in this town. Here also was gathered the first or- 
ganized choir of singers, under the leader.ship of Mr. George W. 
Gavitt. They officiated in the dedication of the house, and Mr. 
Gavitt remained the choir leader more than twelve years. Here 
likewise the first instrumental music in worship was introduced, 
though not without some opposition of sentiment. After a bass- 
viol had, not without struggles, found its way into the gallery on 
one occasion, Mr. Ebenezer Brown, who for the time was con- 
ducting the worship, rose and gravely introduced the services as 
follows: 'We will fiddle and sing the 139th Psalm.' And the 
spirit of the choir, on the occasion, was illustrated in their leader, 
who, turning to the bass violinist, said, ' Now put in ; bear on all 
you know.' 

" Mr. Brown was always strongly opposed to shams and hollow 
ceremonies. Against all such things he hurled the heavy shafts 
of irony and displeasure. In him were all the elements of a 
genuine iconoclast. He sometimes traveled abroad, especially in 
the state of New York, where he at times exercised his ministry. 
Returning from one of these tours, in which he had preached 
often in various churches, and had been grieved at the modern 
innovations that prevailed, and more particularly on account of 
the use of stringed instruments among choirs, he was asked in 
reference to the state of religion in the regions he had visited. 
He sternly replied, ' It is all catgut and resin religion.' He cer- 
tainly belonged to the class of independent men. 

" For some years after the house was opened, except when 
some famous minister officiated, the congregations averaged less 
than fifty persons ; the population of the village was still small. 
At one time the proprietors of the house invited and urged the 
' Hill Church ' to leave the hill top and occupy this house— a 
golden opportunity for that church, and most unwisely neglected. 

" This house has been a cradle, where each Christian denomi- 
nation now existing in the place, except the Christian church 


and the Catholic church, nurtured their sentiments and increased 
their numbers till they were able to stand alone. 

" During the winter of 1842-3 occurred the notable religious 
interest commonly spoken of as ' the Scott revival,' as the Rev- 
erend James L. Scott, then a Sabbatarian preacher, was the prin- 
cipal speaker. The interest deeply affected all the churches and 
greatly added to their numbers. The banks of the river were 
often visited for baptismal occasions. Even the excellent Epis- 
copal minister, Reverend William H. Newman, practiced im- 
mersion, and in this manner received a large number of adults 
to his communion. Many people flocked from the adjacent 
towns to share in the great and gracious spirit that prevailed. 

" Not calm or sacred, however, have been all the hours of the 
history of this house. The debates that have here occurred — on 
the election of trustees, the methods of adrainistration, the dis- 
tribution of the income, the persons allowed to hold services, the 
proportioning of time to denominations, the sufferance of traveling 
speakers and lecturers, the opening of the doors to secular affairs 
— could they have been written, would have been very volumi- 
nous and amusing, rivaling anything of the sort to be found in 
a village of this magnitude, and furnishing an instructive com- 
mentary on the feasibility and wisdom of those compromises that 
are too often dignified and glossed by the name of Christian 
unionism. It is an open question whether this edifice proved a 
union or a disunion house. 

" The secretary and treasurer for the stockholders of this house, 
from the time of its erection till 1862, was Mr. Lyndon Taylor. 
His successor was Mr. Edwin Babcock, who held the office until 
1872, when the building and site were sold to the town of West- 
erly, the funds divided up, and the corporation ceased to exist. 
In 1874, upon the site of the Union meeting house, the town 
erected a town building, two stories in height, with a basement. 
The basement is used for a station house and police headquarters; 
the first floor for a town clerk's office and council chamber ; and 
the second floor for a town hall." 

The Gardner Church. — As a legitimate offspring of the great 
revival near the southeastern portion of the town was gathered 
another church of Separatists and Baptists constituted and ad- 
ministered much like the Indian church. It arose in the latter 
part of the last century and maintained its existence as late as 
1810, but the organization and records have passed away. It 


was usually termed the Gardner church. The first pastor was 
Reverend John Gardner, and he was succeeded by his relative, 
Reverend William Gardner. Never possessing a house of wor- 
ship, this body held its meetings at private residences, particu- 
larly at the dwellings of Joseph Gavitt, Stephen Stanton and Peleg 
Ross. It appears from the letter of the church to the Groton 
Union Conference in 1802, that John Gardner was pastor, Wil- 
liam York, clerk, and the body numbered ninety-two members. 
Ninety-six members were reported to the conference in 1810. 
The excellent deacons were Joseph Gavitt and Daniel Stanton. 

The Wilcox Church. — This church was organized in the east- 
ern part of the town in 1765. It was designated as the " Third 
Church of Christ in Westerly." Its principal pastor was Mr. 
Wilcox, and it was known as the Wilcox church. It was com- 
posed of Separatists from the Presbyterian and Sabbatarian 
churches, with a few Baptists proper. It was properly a New 
Light body, and as such was recognized in August, 1770, by a 
council of New Light churches. The meeting house was raised 
July 16th, 1786, and the church then had one hundred and sev- 
enty-seven members. Reverend Isaac Wilcox, the first pastor, 
was ordained February 14th, 1771. Reverend Jesse Babcock was 
its last pastor. He died May 18th, 1844. 

The Friends' Society was established in 3743. The house of 
worship for Westerly meetings was built in 1744 at a cost of 
about ;^300, near the residence of Mr. Dunn, on the north side of 
the road, A small cemetery, called the Quaker Burial Ground, 
is all that now marks the spot. Peter Davis was the first notable 
speaker here, but when he came to the place is not known. He 
died February 29th, 1776. 

River Bend Cemetery.— This cemetery is beautifully situated 
on the left bank of the PaM^catuck river, a little more than a mile 
south of the village of Westerly. The grounds embraced about 
twenty acres, artistically laid out and tastefully ornamented. It 
was dedicated in 1852. For many years after the dedication it 
was under the superintendence of Reverend John Taylor. Fol- 
lowing him came other superintendents, and lastly Joseph G. 
Pendleton, who took charge April 1st, 1874. 

Since Mr. Pendleton's superintendency the cemetery has un- 
dergone a marked change. New grounds have been purchased, 
on which a great amount of labor has been expended. After the 
large boulders had been blasted and removed, beautiful avenues 


and labyrinthian walks were laid out, and the place is now one 
of the handsomest of the kind in the country, owing largely to 
the fact that Mr. Pendleton is adapted particularly by inventive 
genius for the work. He is a native of Westerly and is a stone 
mason by trade. His house was built in 1887. The names of 
the present officers are as follows : President, George S. Green- 
man ; secretary and treasurer, Harvey Campbell ; trustees, Or- 
lando Smith, James W. PoUette, John E. Brown and Joseph G. 

In addition to the ornamental work done on monuments in this 
yard, and which will compare favorably with the best in the 
country, mention should be made of some of the beautiful 
statues, that are not only beautiful in themselves but also very 
instructive. They may be enumerated by name as follows : 1. 
Time ; 2. Meditation ; 3. Hope ; 4. Faith ; 5. Virgin Mary ; 6. 
A Little Cherub; 7. Instruction, etc., etc., each in itself repre- 
senting some great truth. 

Grave-Yards. — Among the sacred witnesses of the town of 
Westerly are the many ancient grave-yards. The mere mention 
of these, giving the locality, will be sufficient. 

Allen Ground contains the remains of Captain Samuel Allen, 
wife, and members of his family. It is about thirty rods south of 
the old post road, on the farm of Saunders Gavitt. The graves 
are in a corner of a meadow uninclosed. 

Austin Ground contains the remains of Jedediah Austin, and 
probably others of the name. It may be found in an old orchard, 
on grounds of J. Thompson. The little headstones, now sunk 
deeply down, are evidently very old. 

Babcock Ground {!) is south of Mastuxet brook, on the slope of a 
hill east of the highway leading to Lottery village. This contains 
the dust of John Babcock and his wife Mary, and many of their 
descendants. Captain James Babcock was buried here in 1736-7. 

Babcock Ground (2) is in an open pasture about two hundred 
yards south of the residence of William Robinson Frazier, 
not far from the railroad. The bodies of Elder Elkany Babcock 
and his wife lie here. The former was buried in 1821, in his 84th 

Burdick Ground is on the border of the village of Westerly in 
the rear of the house and garden of Joseph H. Potter, on High 
street. John Burdick and his wife Betsey lie buried here. He 
died in January, 1802. 


Barber Ground {1). This is on the so-called Case Chapman farm, 
and contains the remains of Nathan Barber (who was buried here 
in June, 1816), his wife Thankful, and other members of his 

Barber Ground {'2) is in a meadow uninclosed, about thirty rods 
south of Mr. Joshua Barber's residence. Mrs. Hannah Barber, 
wife of Benjamin P. Barber, and others of that name lie here. 

Blivcn Ground {!) is on land of Henry Bliven, nearly a half mile 
from the Post road on the west side of the cross road that leads 
to Dorrville. Major William Bliven was buried here in January, 
1834, in his eighty-ninth year. Here were buried John Barker 
and his wife, and Edward Bliven 1st, 2d and 3d. These were 
the early owners of this farm. Edward Bliven, 3d, died on board 
the notorious prison ship " Jersey." 

Bliven Ground (2) is in the eastern part of the town on lands of 
Samuel Saunders, Sen. Here lie the remains of persons of vari- 
ous names, but all members of the Bliven family. 

Brumbly Ground. — William Brumbly (died in October, 1775), 
his wife, Elizabeth, and others were buried here. This neglected 
yard is in a pasture now owned by Mr. James Babcock, Sen. 

Carr Ground is north of the railroad near John Macomber's 
bluff of ledges in an open pasture ground. Here are about thirty 
graves. Some of the Vincent family lie here. 

Chaniplin Ground is south of the Shore road on the old Noyes 
farm and contains the remains of Mr. William Champlin (who 
died in October, 1798), his widow, Mrs. Sarah Champlin, and 

Cliapnian Ground {I), on the north border of Chapman's pond, is 
where Mr. Sumner Chapman was buried in December, 1812. 

Chapman Ground {2) on the land of G. W. Cottrell, is where 
Joseph Chapman (died in June, 1856,) and others of his family 
lie buried. 

Chapman Ground {,3) lies on Samuel Chapman's estate, west of 
the Pound road. Samuel Chapman (died in June, 1838), his 
daughter Frances and others of that family lie here. 

Chapman Ground (Jt) is on Daniel Chapman's estate on the west 
side of the Pound road. George C. Chapman and others of more 
recent times lie buried here. 

Chapman Ground (5) is on top of the rocky, sandy ridge on the 
old Chapman farm. Israel Chapman and many others of that 
name lie here. 


Chase Ground (1) is a little below Westerly on the old Lewis 
farm, afterward known as tlie Kenyon farm, and contains the re- 
mains of some of the Chase family. 

Ckase Ground {2) is near the residence of Mr. Nathaniel J. L. 
Chase, in a meadow by the roadside. Maxson Chase and his 
wife Polly lie here. 

Children's Ground is a few rods west of the old farm northeast 
of White Rock village, on land owned by the White Rock Com- 
pany. This yard contains the graves of a dozen children ; no 
adults are buried here. 

Church Yard. — The graves here are very numerous. It stands 
near where the first Sabbatarian meeting house of Westerly 
stood, now in the town of Hopkinton. 

Citizen s Ground is a small burial place inclosed by a picket 
fence on a knoll, a few rods north of the residence of the late 
Aaron Pierce. 

Clarke Ground (1) is an ancient burial ground on the left bank 
of the Pawcatuck on the curve above the Meeting House bridge, 
and a few rods east of the Pound road. Here lie the remains of 
Reverend John Maxson, the first male child born on the island of 
Rhode Island. He was born in the spring of 1638, was ordained 
pastor of the Sabbatarian church in Westerly in 1708, and died 
December 17th, 1720, in the 83d year of his age. Joseph Clarke, 
the brother of Doctor John Clarke, the first settler of Newport, 
is also buried here. It is also stated that the remains of Tobias 
Saunders, one of the first settlers and magistrates of this town 
lie in this yard. 

Clarke Ground (2) is southeast from the Rhodes ground in the 
adjoining field, and about five rods west from the Potter Hill 
road. The plow has invaded these sacred remains, and nothing 
now but a few stones are seen. 

Clark Ground (3) lies in the eastern portion of the town on the 
estate of Mr. Arnold Saunders. Ichabod Clark and his father, 
also the remains of his wife Polly, and his son Ichabod Clark 
and his wife Mary, lie in this yard. 

Clark Ground (^) is situated in the northern portion of the town 
on the estate of Weeden Clark. William Clark and a number 
by the name of Clark lie buried here. 

Other burial places are the Cottrell Ground on the former es- 
tate of Russell Cottrell ; the Cordner Ground on the land of Mr. 
Joseph Hiscox in Dorrville ; the Crandall Ground {I) in the south- 


eastern part of the town ; the Crandall Ground (^) west of the 
residence of Charles Crandall ; Crandall Ground {S) on the east- 
ern side of the town farm ; the Davis Ground on the farm of Mr. 
Oliver Davis ; the Dcnison Ground on lands of Burrell Thompson ; 
the Dixon Ground a few rods southwest of the Dixon mansion ; 
the Dodge Ground on lands of the late Henry C. Gavitt ; the Dunn 
Ground on the farm of John K. Dunn ; the Dunham Ground not 
far from the residence of Joshua Barber ; the Foster Ground on 
the farm belonging to Edward F. Vose : the Frasier Ground on 
the farm of William Robinson Frazier ; the Peabody Ground on 
the farm of Oliver Davis ; the Friends' Ground on the old post 
road leading to Charlestown ; the Gavitt Grounds (1) {'2) {3) {4} , 
the Green Ground ; the Hall Grounds (l) (:?) (3) , the Hardy Ground 
on the west margin of Burden's Pond ; the Hazard Ground ; the 
Hiscox Grounds {I) (2); the Indian Grounds {1) (;.') [3) (i) {5) (6) (7) 
(8) (9) (10) (11), situated in different portions of the town and con- 
taining mostly the remains of the red race ; the Knowles Ground 
in the village of Dorrville ; the Lanphear Grounds (1) (;?) (3), the 
Larkin Ground in the northern portion of the town west of Dorr- 
ville (formerly the Larkin farm) ; the Lewis Ground (1) on lands 
owned by George D. Cross on the east side of the highway lead- 
ing to Lottery village, and where seven generations of Lewises 
are said to have been buried ; the Leivis Ground (i2) on the crest 
of a gravel hill south of the house of Pardon Lewis; the Noyes 
Ground on the old Noyes farm, and where lie Colonel Joseph 
Noyes and his son Colonel Thomas Noyes ; the Nye Ground, a 
few rods west of the cross road between the post road and Dorr- 
ville, near where the Pound road begins ; the Park Ground, a few 
rods east of the residence of Christopher Rathbun, where lies Ed- 
win D. Gavitt of the Fourth Rhode Island regiment, who was 
wounded at Newbern, N. C, and died in a hospital in New 
York ; the Peckhaui Ground on the farm of Samuel Peckham ; 
the Peckham Ground ('2) on the old Daniel J. Peckham farm ; 
the Peckham Ground (3) in the northeastern part of the town ; the 
Pendleton Ground, on Graves' Neck, where lie the first generation 
of the Pendletons ; the Pendleton Ground (::?) near the Citizen's 
Ground, and wherein also lies a long remembered slave woman 
and faithful servant, Phillis Jumbo, who died at the age of about 
one hundred years ; the Rathbun Ground, on the old Samuel 
Champlin farm ; Rathbun Ground (;.'), on the old Ross estate ; the 
Ray Ground on the old Ray estate or Guinea Hollow, in honor of 


the country of the mother of the family, who was colored (She 
was the mother of Thomas Ray, and came from Guinea, and was 
landed on Block Island from the famous ship " Palatine." Fall- 
ing into the hands of Colonel Ray Sands of Block Island, she 
adopted the name of Ray, which was accepted by her children. 
Thomas Ray, her son, lived to be very aged, and saw four gener- 
ations of his descendants. His grandson. Reverend Charles Ray, 
has been for many years an able Methodist minister in New 
York. Gideon Ray, his brother, was drowned at the beach of 
Worden's Pond. The family was highly esteemed throughout 
the town) ; the Rhodes Ground, on the farm of Joshua Thompson, 
some twenty rods west of the Potter Hill ; the Saunders Grounds 
(1), (2), (3), (4^) ; the Sheffield Ground ; the Sims Ground , the Sis- 
sons Grounds (1), {2) ; the Slaves Ground, about four rods east of 
the Denison and Champlin Grounds, where were buried slaves 
belonging to Samuel Thompson ; the Stetson Ground, on lands of 
Samuel Peckham, east of the road leading into Charlestown ; the 
Stillman Ground, where lie the remains of William S. Peckham, 
who served six years in the revolution, and who died April 30th, 
1822, aged 84 years, and his son, William S. Peckham, Jr., a 
soldier in the war of 1812, who fell in the battle of Lake Erie, 
under Commodore Perry, being killed in the boat by the side of 
his commander ; the Thompson Ground, on lands of Isaac L. Ed- 
wards ; the Vars Ground, on the farm of Isaac Vars ; the Vose 
Ground, now the Town Farm ; the Ward Ground, on the ancient 
Ward farm ; the White Ground, a mile and a half west of Dorr- 
ville, where Major Walter White was buried ; the Wilcox Ground, 
on the ancient Wilcox farm ; the York Ground, in the thirteenth 
school district. 

The above, together with fifteen other grave yards that have 
no names, constitute the grounds in which the remains of the re- 
spective families lie buried. Many of these yards have but a 
half dozen or so graves. Their number sometimes runs up to 
forty or fifty. Many of them are unenclosed, and in another 
century the people will be as ignorant of these resting places as 
they now are of the red men's graves. 


The Village of Westerly, Its Location and Its Business History.— Early Mills.— 
Grist Mills.— Early Woolen Mills, Foundries and Machine Shops.— Printing 
Press Manufactory.— C. Maxson & Co.— Carriage Business.— StillmanviJle.- 
Stillman Jlill and Machine Shops.— O. M. Stillman.— Early Merchants of 
Westerly.— The Clothing Business.— The Furniture Trade.— The Grocery 
Trade.— The Boot and Shoe Trade.— Drug Stores.— Hardware.— Public Houses. 
—Banks of Westerly.— Schools.— Churches.— Fire District.— Library Asso- 
ciation. — Societies, etc. 

THE village of Westerly was formerly called " Pawcatuck 
Bridge." It is a thriving little village having a number of 
churches and banks, three weekly papers and one enter- 
prising daily, together with many stores, mills, etc. The village 
is situated on both sides of the Pawcatuck river, on the Provi- 
dence & Stonington railroad, five miles from Stonington, forty- 
four from Providence, and eighty-eight from Boston. 

There was but little business at this point until after the revo- 
lution. In 1750 the place contained but three houses. A post 
office and a store were first opened on the hill top at the east, 
both being kept by Doctor Joshua Babcock. The next store was 
opened by Mr. Rowse Babcock, who afterward moved into the 
village, where he died in 1801. This store was continued by 
General William Rhodes, who also finally moved into the village. 
In the year 1800 there were not fifteen residences in this 

Westerly has always had quite a coast trade, large schooners 
coming directly to the wharves. Captain Clark Edwards com- 
manded a sloop of fourteen tons burthen, and did the first coasting 
trade from this port. The next was the " Transit," commanded 
by Captain Daniel Bliven, about the year 1816 or 1818. 

A representative New England town, Westerly has always been 
noted for its manufactures of cotton and' woolen goods. The 
manufacture of printing presses and machinery has also been 


carried on here extensively in the past, and at present by C. B. 
Cottrell & Sons, successors to Cottrell & Babcock. The first or old 
stone factory was built in the year 1814, and still remains situated 
on Main street near a more pretentious building, erected in 1869, 
an offspring of the old. Here, in this old mill, was commenced 
the business of manufacturing, from which has originated nearly 
all if not all of the cotton and woolen manufacturing establish- 
ments here. The Pawcatuck Manufacturing Company, and then 
Blodgett, Stafford & Simmons, successively, were the first to con- 
duct business in the old mill, manufacturing woolen cloths. At 
their commencement the war between England and the United 
States was in progress, but soon peace was declared, and the busi- 
ness not being as profitable as they wished on account of the de- 
cline in prices, the latter sold out to Babcock & INIoss, who con» 
tinned the business successfully many years. The firm was dis- 
solved by the death of I^owse Babcock, the senior, Mr. Moss con- 
tinuing the business. Babcock & Moss, also Welcome Stillman, 
were all prominent in Westerly as manufacturers, and their 
families were identified closely with the interests of the place. 
The business has been until lately under the management of the 
Stillman Manufacturing Company, but the mills are now closed. 

" Near 1800, Mr. Ebenezer Brown owned a grist mill, running 
two sets of stones. This was sold to Mr. Joseph Congdon (from 
Fisher's Island), who built a new and larger mill, which he finally 
sold to Mr. Stephen Wilcox, who sold it to a company of gentle- 
men from abroad. This company, called the Pawcatuck Manu- 
facturing Company, in 1814, built the stone mill, in which, at 
first, they made woolen goods, and afterward manufactured cot- 
ton ; but, being unsuccessful in business, in a few years sold to 
Messrs. Blodgett, Stafford & Simmons. This new firm purchased 
other privileges up the river, at Stillmanville and White Rock, 
and took the name of White Rock Company. From death and 
other causes the owners in this company, one after another, sold 
to Mr. Rowse Babcock, 3d, and Mr. Jesse L. Moss, who retained 
the name. White Rock Company, and carried on the largest busi- 
ness in the town. The canal from Stillmanville to Westerly was 
opened in 1827. The White Rock Company greatly increased 
their mills and machinery, uniting steam with the power of the 

" This company built the new mill, north of the stone mill, 48 
by 124 feet, and four stories high, with a French roof in addition. 


and an octagonal tower on one corner. The architect was Peleg 
Clarke, Jr. 

" In the southern part of the village — formerly designated 
' Bungtown,' now called 'The Landing," — in 1811, Mr. Abiel 
Sherman established a small tannery, afterward sold to Colonel 
Peleg Cross, of Charlestown, whose sons, Nathaniel and Ben- 
jamin, operated it. Colonel Cross sold to William D.Wells, Esq., 
who continued the business till the heavy fire of October 30th, 
1868, destroyed his property. Another tannery was started by 
Mr. John Cross, afterward operated by George D. Cross, Esq., and 
lastly by Mr. Billings. Near Mr. Well's tannery, Mr. Peleg 
Clarke, Jr., erected a steam mill for sawing and planing; this was 
sold to C. Maxson & Co., and was also destroyed by the fire of 
October 3()th, 1868." 

J. P. Babcock and P. S. Barber, in 1875, erected a steam grist 
mill for the specialty of grinding and introducing the real Rhode 
Island corn meal, having a longing, it was said, for those good 
old fashioned "Johnny cakes," but for which they sighed in vain 
when away from home. The capacity of the mills was very 
great, several thousand bushels a dcLj. This firm also manu- 
factured fine family soaps, the two establishments being separate, 
but controlled by the same parties. 

The Westerly Grist Mill and Grain Elevator was built by J. 
Hobart Cross, in 1881. He and Mr. E. S. Ball put in machinery 
and started the mill. In 1887 the property was purchased of E. 
S. Ball & Co. by C.W. Campbell, J. F. Whitemarsh and C. A. Roby, 
and is operated under the firm name of Campbell, Whitemarsh & 
Co. The company grind about one thousand bushels of corn per 
week, and deal in all kinds of grain, in wood, hay, etc. 

H. S. Berry & Co. began the manufacture of woolen goods at 
Woodville, R. I., in 1856. Mr. Welcome Stillman was a member 
of this firm. They continued until Mr. Stillman's death, when 
Mr. Stanton became associated with Mr. Berry. They manu- 
facture shirtings, meltons and diagonal cassimeres. 

H. S. Berry, machinist and machinery manufacturer, also car- 
ried on a large business in manufacturing wood working ma- 
chinery in the village of Westerly. 

The foundry now known as the Printing Press Manufactory 
was built by Langworthy, Potter & Co. in 1846 and 1847, for the 
manufacturing of plows, stoves, etc. In July, 1855, the firm of 
Cottrell & Babcock was formed, consisting of Calvert B. Cot- 


trell and Nathan Babcock. The firm employed at that time about 
a dozen men in manufacturing cotton and wood working ma- 
chiner}' , and printing presses, and in 1861 began the manufac- 
ture of woollen machinery. In 1868 they began making a 
specialty of printing presses. In July, 1880, Mr. Cottrell pur- 
chased his partner's interest in the business, and associated with 
him his three sons under the farm name of C. B. Cottrell & Sons. 
To the growth of the village this firm has contributed much. 
Hundreds of houses built up around them have been owned and 
occupied by their skillful mechanics. 

N. A. Woodward & Co., manufacturers of all kinds of hammers 
and tools, have been running a shop in Westerly since 1879. 

C. Maxson & Co. are architects, builders, lumber dealers, etc. 
The business was established by Charles Maxson in 1837, with- 
out any of the advantages of machinery or power. In 1843 Jon- 
athan Maxson, Jr., came into the firm, at which time the broth- 
ers had a planing mill run by water power, and the various kinds 
of wood-working machinery were added. In 1846, the father of 
the above-named, Jonathan ilaxson, Sr., joined them in the bus- 
iness and the firm was styled C. Maxson & Co. Mr. Maxson, Sr., 
died in 1852. In 1851 B. W. Bentley, a brother-in-law, purchased 
an interest in the business which he held until 1870, when he re- 
tired. William jSIaxson, another brother, entered the firm in 
1853, and the business has been carried on till the present time 
under the old name. 

Other lumber dealers in the place were Sherman & Burdick, suc- 
cessors to W. & H. Langworthy in 1880, and George N. Burdick, 
successor to Sherman & Burdick in 1886. W. & H. Langworthy 
have carried on business in Westerly since 1845. 

The carriage business was established in the village fifty years 
ago, by Sanford Stillman, and for the last twenty-two years con- 
ducted by Mr. C. H. Holdredge, his successor, who learned his 
trade of Mr. Stillman. Mr. Holdredge built here in 1876. He 
erected a building one hundred feet long, two stories in height, 
and in addition a large shop. He carries an extensive stock of 
carriages for the general trade. He also deals in harness and all 
kinds of carriage furnishings required in the business. Mr. 
Holdredge makes his own bodies. He employs a number of 
hands, and is doing an excellent business. He is the patentee of 
an invention for boxes for carriage wheels. 

The Westerly Woolen Company's plant was purchased by F. 


R. White & Co., woolen manufacturers, of Chepachet, R. I., in 
the year 1875. The firm consisted of F. R. White, H. C. White 
and William O. Arnold. In 1877 the company bought the mill 
directly across the river, then owned by O. M. Stillman, and op- 
erated it in connection with the mills on the Rhode Island side. 
Upon the death of F. R. White in 1881, Messrs. W. O. and L. W. 
Arnold bought of H. C. White and the administratrix of F. R. 
White's estate, all their interests in the property and they con- 
tinue to operate the mill — one of the most extensive in the 
state — under the same name, Westerly Woolen Company. The 
senior member of the firm, W. O. Arnold, was elected to con- 
gress in 1887 to represent the Second district of Rhode Island. 

Stillmanville. — This village lies about one-half mile north of 
Westerly. The lands occupying the present site of this village 
were once a part of a large farm belonging to Simeon Pendleton, 
known as " Gentleman Simeon." The first dam across the river 
at this point was constructed and owned in main by Samuel 
Brand, who owned and operated a grist mill on the eastern side. 
Subsequently Mr. Brand sold to Sanford Taylor, and the dam in 
1798 was known as Sanford Taylor's dam. The place at first was 
known as Brand mill, then Burdick's mill, and later still as Still- 
manville. W. O. Arnold, present member of Congress, and his 
brother, Lewis W. Arnold, now own the large mills at this 

Captain Saxton Berry, an old successful sea captain, lived a half 
mile above Stillmanville, and in one room of his house (still 
standing) is an old eight day brass clock made by Deacon Wil- 
liam Stillman at his old shop at the "bridge," about one hundred 
years ago. This was the first clock made and sold by him, for 
which the sum of eighty dollars was paid. This old time piece 
has continued to tick night and day incessantly ever since. Still 
farther above Captain Berry's house is the old gambrel roofed 
house once occupied by Edward Hiscox, a revolutionary soldier 
who assisted in the capture of Prescott. Weeden H. Berry, a 
successful farmer and well known resident of this place, is a de- 
scendant of Saxton Berry above mentioned. Deacon Jonathan P. 
Stillman, son of Deacon William Stillman, was born February 
10th, 1798. Jonathan Stillman and his brothers learned the 
machinist trade, working in the shop which formerly stood on 
the site now occupied by the large brick mill of the Stillman 
Manufacturing Company. 


In 1842 he and his brother, Amos, negotiated for the purchase 
of the mill at the west end of Pawcatuck bridge, then owned by 
Horace and Jonathan' Edwards. That mill was destroyed by fire 
while they were on their way from Lisbon to Westerly to com- 
plete the purchase and take the deed. They took a deed of the 
site and put up a building which they used as a machine shop 
until it was destroyed by fire in 1860. They then put up the 
building which now occupies the site, and which is known as the 
Stillman mill. About 1843 Mr. Stillman and his brother bought 
about five acres of land on High street, then covered with trees, 
on which they built each of them a house, and on part of which 
have since been built the residences occupied by George C. 
Lanphear, George B. Utter, C. C. Stillman and the late James H. 

O. M. Stillman, son of Ethan and Polly (Lewis) Stillman, a 
machinist, was born in Connecticut in 1801. He at one time had 
a shop at Leonardville, New York, but in 1825 he and Mr. Asher 
M. Babcock operated a machine shop near Sauquoit, Oneida 
county, New^York, and while there he invented the well known 
self adjusting temple which has done so much to facilitate power 
weaving. Having obtained a patent for his inventions, he came 
to Westerly in 1826 or 1827, and began making temples in the 
shop of the late Deacon William Stillman, on the site in Main 
street afterward occupied by the woolen mill of the Stillman 
Manufacturing Compan}-. Afterward he bought a factory of the 
late Mr. Joseph Schofield, on the west side of Pawcatuck river, 
at the place now known as Stillmanville. There he continued 
his old business, and subsequently began the manufacture of 
plaid linseys, and he continued that business for forty years, ex- 
tending from time to time, until he had a model woolen mill. 
He was not only a manufacturer of a good quality of woolen goods, 
but also an inventor of some good patents, including the plaid 
weaving loom, steam engines, hot air engines, etc. 

Early Merchants of Westerly.* — It is not the purpose of 
the writer of this article to present extended biographies of any 
of the characters herein mentioned, but simply to record the 
names of a goodly number of the merchants who have been do- 
ing business in this village from an early date to the present 
time. In a few cases we have digressed to give short sketches of 
a few of the older merchants, which we think will be of interest 
to our readers. 
*By Henry E. Chamberlin. 


The places of the pioneers of trade and traffic were located on 
Main street, between what is now known as Chapman's corner, 
near the bridge, and the junction of Beach and Margin streets. 
Men are now living who remember distinctly the primitive mer- 
cantile establishments of those days ; in fact, a few of them are 
now standing, but greatly shorn of their former dignity and 
prestige. A small room, low studded and dark, with a quintal of 
fish, a hogshead of molasses, and a barrel of New England rum 
as a basis of stock, made up what was designated a " store." 

About the year 1825 Resolve Carr kept a hat shop on what is 
now known as Granite street, basement of Mrs. Maxson's dwell- 
ing. Isaac Champlin kept a grocery near the new post office 
building ; Isaac West and his brother William a store or shop 
near the bridge. John Cross kept a store in the old hotel for a 
few years. He afterward studied law and practiced in Washing- 
ton county. General William Rhodes kept a store on the corner 
where the Chapman block now stands, doing business there some 
thirty years. George Gavitt manufactured household furniture 
and burial caskets. His rooms were on Main street, near what 
is now O. D. Hall's bakery. William D. Wells, on Main street, 
did an extensive business in the tanning of hides. He kept a 
number of hands and found a ready market for his goods. Joshua 
Thompson and Thomas W. Segar kept a trading store on the 
west side. Rowse Babcock kept a store on what is now East 
Broad street, opposite the First Baptist church. 

Other merchants were : Niles Potter, in Potter Block, William 
Stillman (drug store), Harry Babcock (shoe store), Thompson 
Noyes (groceries), George Sheffield (groceries and ship building), 
William Robinson (drug store. He also practiced medicine.), 
Peleg and Joshua Noyes (groceries), Enoch Lanphear (shoe shop 
on lower end of Main street), Robinson R. Frazier (groceries), J. 
Babcock, Stephen Wilcox, Palmer Welles, Paul Rhodes, Ichabod 
Taylor, Isaac Champlin, Lyndon Taylor, Geo. W. Moss, Lemuel 
Vose, George D. Cross and others later on ; William Hutchinson 
(books and musical instruments), William F. Wallace (jewelry), 
George A. Stanton (boots and shoes), J. Alonzo Babcock (boots 
and shoes), Stanton Babcock (boots and shoes), George Stillman 
(groceries). Nelson Brown (groceries), Jean Egger (hair goods), 
E. A. Lewis, Joseph H. Crandall (groceries), L. T. Clawson (mer- 
chant tailor), Leander Clark (groceries), Lyman Kenyon, A. 
Langworthy, Ethan Wilcox, Charles D. Mann, Frank Coy, E. N. 









Denison (jewelry), Charles W. Willard (stoves and tin ware), Job 
Sharp, A. L. Chester, James Fyffe, E. B. Clarke (furniture), E. H. 
Burdick, S. C. Burdick, A. B. Collins, Walter Price, A. L. Barber 
& Co. (druggists), Jesse L. Moss (factory store), John Collins, 
E. B. Stockwell, JohnR. Champlin, John Leslie (boots and shoes), 
H. B. Gavitt, C. H. Hinckley, Alfred Stillman (furniture), Louis 
Frankenstein, Louis Gates, Jacob Stern (dry goods), Henry F. 
Douglass (carpets). 

The building of the Dixon House introduced to the citizens of 
"Westerly some elegant stores, and inaugurated a new era in the 
dry goods trade. Instead of the low, dark antiquated rooms for- 
merly used, we now behold the iron fronts, with plate glass, 
high ceilings, giving them at once a metropolitan appearance. 
Our merchants at once, with commendable pride, caught the 
spirit of improvement and more extensive stocks were kept. 
Trade increased and Westerly took its first great advance step in 
the dry goods trade. Among the first occupants of these stores 
was the late James F. Pendleton, whose name affords pleasure to 
recall. He built up an extensive business and by his courteous, 
genial manners and obliging disposition secured the kind re- 
gards and good wishes of his many friends and customers. 

Robinson & Hoxsie were cotemporaneous with the above, car- 
rying a fine line of dress goods, paper hangings and carpets. 
This firm was succeeded by Air. John B. Brown, present occupant 
of the New York store, whose place has become famous for goods 
of intrinsic worth and value. The proprietor has met with fair 
pecuniary success, carries an elegant stock and has built a fine 
residence on Grove avenue. 

In the year 1870 Henry E. Chamberlin opened the store at No. 
36 High street. The wisdom of this venture was questioned by 
some of the older merchants. Mr. Chamberlin's methods of do- 
ing business at once attracted a large and profitable trade, and 
at the end of some eighteen years of vigorous application and 
hard work he retired. In the meanwhile he has given consider- 
able attention to real estate and built a number of dwelling 

Samuel G. Babcock, a native of this town, commenced his mer- 
cantile career with the late David Smith. After a few years as 
chief clerk in this establishment, he purchased the entire interest 
of his employer. He at once infused new life into the business, 
displaying consummate skill in the management of the affairs of 


the old house. Years came and went ; every day found Mr. Bab- 
cock at his post. The business grew rapidly, the old store be- 
came over-crowded with goods, and as a result the new O. D. 
Wells block was erected on the site of the old store, east end of 
the bridge. Mr. Babcock had sold a part of his business to Mr. 
J. H. Thorp, when the building burned in February, 1888, and he 
retired permanently from trade. During the fifteen years he at- 
tended to every detail of his large business and yet found time 
for the study of theology. He was made a deacon of the Episco- 
pal church, and was in the habit of preaching Sundays in adja- 
cent towns. He retires from a short but successful business 
career with the best wishes of a host of friends, and an ample 

David Smith, a descendant of one of the oldest families of the 
town, with a common school education, commenced his clerkship 
with Stephen Wilcox and served several years. About the year 
1838 he engaged with the late O. M. Stillman, and eventually 
married the sister of his employer. Afterward returning to Mr. 
Wilcox, he formed a co-partnership with the latter, doing busi- 
ness in the old store at the east end of the bridge. He was fair- 
ly successful in trade and finally sold his business to S. G. Bab- 
cock. Mr. Smith was a man of strong convictions, thoroughly 
honest and commanded the respect and esteem of his fellow 
townsmen to an eminent degree. He filled several local offices, 
was a member of the town council, school commissioner, etc., all 
of which trusts he discharged with fidelity and satisfaction to his 

Joseph H. Lewis was a native of Charlestown, this county, and 
after receiving a common school education came to the village 
in 1828, and entered the store of the late Samuel Vose, in whose 
employ he remained some ten years. At this juncture a co-part- 
nership was formed, but owing to ill health it terminated at the 
end of two years. To recruit his health he sailed the sloop 
"Caspian" from this port one season. Giving up his command 
he was induced to again join his former partner in trade, the 
firm name reading J. H. Lewis & Co. The firm prospered and 
in a short time built the brick block which for a long time was 
the pride of the town. Mr. Vose survived this partnership but a 
few years, when Mr. Lewis continued the business alone until 
the spring of 1888. He is possessed of sterling qualities and not- 
withstanding he has met with financial losses through the kind- 


ness of his heart and the cupidity of others, he retires with an 
ample fortune. In manners he is retiring, never seeking office 
or notoriety, attending strictly to his own business. He is one 
of the charter members of the National Niantic Bank, and has 
been a director in the same institution for a number of years. 
He was elected a member of the town council but refused to 
serve. He has been director in River Bend Cemetery Associa- 
tion. He retires from active business to enjoy the fruit of his 
labors and the good wishes of his friends. 

Captain William C. Pendleton was a native of this town, spent 
all his life here, and is closely identified with the history of the 
place for the last half century and has also been known through 
all the contiguous country. He was a man of unusual sagacity, 
well posted in matters that came under his observation. Con- 
sulted by every one as the best informed man of the vicinity, he 
was the more incited to inform himself. He acquired the title 
of captain from being commander of the sloop " Caspian " for a 
number of years. Later in life he spent most of his time in 
his store, lower end of Main street. He was a firm believer 
in his own judgment and always outspoken. Had he had the 
advantages of a liberal education his influence and fame would 
have made him a power in south county. He was a safe counselor. 
He administered upon many estates, and the poor in need of 
advice went to him and always got it. Widows with encum- 
bered estates to settle, soldiers entitled to pensions, neighbors 
in fear of or engaged in litigation, all found in him a sympa- 
thetic and wise adviser, always willing to give time to hearing 
and counseling without price. He enjoyed many local offices, 
was a member of the First Baptist church, and for many years 
a director in the National Phenix Bank. Notwithstanding his 
advanced age Captain Pendleton retained his faculties, and his 
loss as a friend, a citizen and a helper in every good work is 
greatly felt in this community. 

One of the most respected and prominent merchants of our 
village was James H. Porter, born in Berlin, Conn., in 1814. After 
receiving a common school education he served an apprentice- 
ship in the tinware business, he being one of a company that 
was foremost in introducing tin plate into New England. He 
came to Westerly in 1840 and at once began the manufacture of 
tinware on High street, meeting with success. Ten years later 
Mr. John Loveland was admitted a partner, and for the next 


twelve years a very profitable business was done. Meantime 
Mr. Porter married the daughter of Captain William C. Pendleton, 
who proved a faithful, dutiful and Christian wife. About the 
year 1863, Mr. Loveland retiring, Mr. Porter pursued the busi- 
ness alone until his death. He was possessed of a kind and 
obliging disposition, and earned and retained the confidence of 
his friends and patrons to a great degree. The poor and needy 
never asked in vain, for through his pleasant, beaming face 
could be seen a noble, generous heart. He was extremely modest 
and retiring, never seeking political places or notoriety. He was 
a director in the National Phenix Bank for many years, and a 
member and trustee of the First Baptist church, in which he 
manifested a good degree of interest until the day of his death. 
On the whole his was a life from which the young may draw 
lessons of encouragement and will do well to emulate. 

A striking contrast exists to-day in the appearance of Main 
street from that of three-quarters of a century ago. It is true 
that no material change has been made in the lines of the high- 
way, and many of the old landmarks still appear, yet should Mr. 
Ebenezer Brown, who run the grist mill near the bridge, or his 
contemporaries, be enabled to view the scene, undoubtedly their 
astonishment would surpass that of Rip Van Winkle. Where 
once stood the little, primitive, sunburnt store can now be seen 
huge blocks constructed from pressed bricks and cut granite ; 
elegant stores, with plate glass fronts, now greet your gaze, while 
the flash of the electric light dazzles the eye. Great manufactur- 
ing establishments appear in full view, and the hum of a thous- 
and spindles sings in your ears. Vast piles of lumber and coal 
cover our docks, and where once the red man stepped from his 
canoe to the sandy shore, ships now come and depart. 

Hon. Henry E. Chamberlin, the writer of the above sketches, 
is a native of Woodstock, Windham county. Conn. In early life 
he served a clerkship under the late George M. May & Co., mer- 
chants, of Hartford, Conn., and later pursued the dry goods trade 
in Stafford Springs, same state. In 1870 Mr. Chamberlin came 
to Westerly, where he carried on the dry goods business without 
resorting to " tricks in the trade," and made a success of it. At 
the age of eighteen years he was appointed paymaster of the Elev- 
enth Connecticut Regiment, on the staff of the late Colonel Jud- 
son Mills Lyon, and has held various other offices. In 1885 he 
was elected first representative from Westerly to the general as- 


sembly, and served three years, and was active in the passage of 
the Fifth Amendment to the constitution. Mr. Chamberlin is 
a member of the First Baptist church of Westerly, and has al- 
ways taken a lively interest in the growth and prosperity of the 
, village. 

The Clothing Trade.* — There is a vast difference between 
the clothing business of to-day and that of fifty years ago. In 
those days of homespun and calico, people were content with one 
suit in a year or two, and in most cases that was made at home by 
the never tiring mothers and wives, and did not fit much better 
than the common every day overall of the present day. Very 
rarely could they afford to have regular tailors make their 
clothes, and when they could the fit would be a very little im- 
provement over the home made. But time has changed all this, 
and what is now lost in the wearing qualities of the old home- 
spun and tweeds is made up in the style, fit and cheapness of the 
cassimeres and worsteds. 

During the past fifty years a new kind of clothing business has 
sprung up, a business that has made such rapid strides that it is 
nearly in advance of any other in the world, and that is the ready 
made clothing business. No city, no town, no village in this vast 
country of any importance whatever is without its ready made 
clothing store, supplying the working man and banker alike, 
whether rich or poor, big or little, fat or lean, crooked or 
straight, all are fitted in a few minutes, as if by magic. 

There is no town of its size in New England that does as much 
business in custom and ready made clothing as Westerly. Sit- 
uated between and within a few hours ride of two of the largest 
clothing and cloth markets in the world. New York and Boston, 
near the ocean and upon the Shore Line railroad, it has many 
advantages superior to other towns of its size. It draws its trade 
in this line, south as far as the Atlantic, and twenty-five miles in 
any direction. It is no unusual thing to see people twenty and 
twenty-five miles away from home trading in this and in other 
lines. The early history of the custom tailor business in West- 
erly dates back further than the oldest living inhabitant can re- 
member. It would be impossible to give the name of the 
"pioneer " tailor, as there were so many who took in sewing of 
that kind in those days of no sewing machines; but the first man 
to put out his "shingle " for public patronage as a custom tailor 
*By George H. Babcock. 


was one John Cranston, in the year 1802. He kept store at the 
corner of what are now Union and Main streets, in what was 
known as the Cranston House. The house is still in good con- 
dition, and is occupied partly as a tenement and partly as a store. 
Very little is known of Cranston as a tailor, but judging from 
the stories of some of the oldest inhabitants who were his cus- 
tomers, the fits that he gave were never too small. It is said that 
the pants were always supplied with enough extra cloth in the seat 
to make a lady's sacque, but this cannot be vouched for. Crans- 
ton continued in business for fifteen years or more. In the mean- 
time, about the year 1806, John Allen had opened a custom tailor 
shop on Broad street, not far from the present site of the Dixon 
House ; the building, with a few additions and alterations, still 
remains in good condition, and is owned by William Bradford. 
Allen continued the business there successfully for quite a num- 
ber of years. Among the young men that served their time with 
him was one Charles Bradford, or Colonel Bradford, as he was 
called, who, with one Harry A. Brown as a partner, started in the 
tailor business, under the firm name of Bradford & Brown. This 
was about the year 1835. The store that they occupied was 
an old affair, being of wood two stories high, and stood about 
where the now imposing Segar Block stands, on Broad street. 

Bradford & Brown experienced considerable difficulty at first 
with the help that they were obliged to hire ; most every tailor 
that they employed would persist in getting intoxicated about 
one-half of the time ; but finally, in 1837, they procured the ser- 
vices of a young journeyman tailor, a man, who, for honesty, 
integrity and faithfulness, takes an important part in the history 
of the clothing business, and the growth and prosperity of the 
town. John Perrin's name will ever be remembered for his 
honesty, and honesty is always faithful. Born on Wall street, 
in the great city of New York, on the 10th of April, 1813, he 
served his time as a journeyman tailor, and worked there until 
1837, when, at the urgent request of Harry A. Brown, of the firm 
of Bradford & Brown, with whom he learned his trade and 
worked years before, he came to Westerly, and worked for 
them diligently and faithfully until the firm dissolved, which was 
in the year 1848, Bradford retiring. Brown and Perrin formed 
a co-partnership, under the firm name of H. A. Brown & Co., 
which was dissolved six years later, or in 1855. Brown continued 
the business alone until his death, which occurred in July, 1876. 


Perrin also continued alone until the year 1867. In the mean- 
time a new enterprise had come into being in this part of the 
state, viz.: the ready made clothing business, whereby a man in- 
stead of going to a tailor to get measured and fitted for a suit of 
clothes, could go to a clothing merchant and there select and get 
fitted with most any kind or style, made and ready to put on. 
The first person known to have kept ready made clothing in this 
part of the state was one Edward M. Dunn, who kept a small 
store near Dunn's Corner, on the old Post road from Westerly 
to Newport, some thirtj' or thirty-five years ago. Later he moved 
into Westerly, and formed a co-partnership with one Pendleton, 
which was later dissolved. Dunn continued in business until 
1867, when John Perrin was taken into the firm, to run a custom 
tailoring department. The firm name was then changed to E. M. 
Dunn & Co. They occupied a store in the Dixon House, three 
doors from the post office. They carried on business there, with 
varying success, until 1875, when the firm dissolved. 

Perrin the same year formed a co-partnership with one R. V. 
Woods, a tailor by trade, under the firm name of Perrin & Woods. 
They started on the Corfnecticut side of the Pawcatuck, and con- 
tinued there until November, 1878, when the firm dissolved. Per- 
rin did not go into partnership again, but continued to do busi- 
ness at the old stand on West Broad street, at the ripe old age of 
seventy-five years, having occupied the same house and tenement 
for more than forty-five years. 

Perhaps one of the most interesting business careers in this 
line of trade is that of Mr. Joseph H. Potter. Mr. Potter was for 
many years in the drug business in Westerly, Stonington and 
Mystic. Many will no doubt remember his famous " Potter & 
Co.'s Root Beer Extract." In the year 1868, after having sold his 
drug business, he took an interest in the clothing business car- 
ried on by J. Frank Bliven, in the south store of the old Lang- 
worthy Block, located on Main street. He hired for a clerk a 
young man by the name of Ira B. Crandall to look after his in- 
terest in the business. They did not long remain in business to- 
gether, however, for in the same year they dissolved. Mr. Potter 
then started a clothing store in what is known as the Hammond 
Block, on High street, in the south store, and here again em- 
ployed Mr. Crandall as clerk. This store was occupied by him 
about three years, when in 1871 he moved into his own building 
known as the new Hammond Block, which is but a continuation 


of the old building. Here, in the year 1874, he engaged in cus- 
tom tailoring, as well as the ready made, with one L. T. Clawson 
at the head of the custom department. Mr. Crandall resigned his 
position with the house in 1873. He was succeeded by Henry L. 
Miner. Mr. Clawson also resigned his position three years later 
and established himself in the custom tailor business at 72 High 
street, where he successfully continues to carry on the business. 

In the year 1882, Mr. Potter's eye sight failed him, and owing 
to this, he sold one half of his interest to his clerk, H. L. Miner. 
The firm name was then changed to H. L. Miner & Co. Finally 
in 1884, he sold his whole interest in the business to Miner, and 
retired from active business life. Mr. Miner continues to carry 
on the business at the old stand. 

Ira B. Crandall, the popular clothing merchant of Westerly, af- 
ter leaving the employ of Mr. Potter, in the year 1873 started in 
business in the old Stillman Block, in Dixon House square, or prop- 
erly on Broad street. He occupied a store in this block until about 
the year 1887, when he moved into a larger one, a few doors above. 
The firm name reads I. B. Crandall & Co. Crandall was burned 
out in the great fire on the 17th of February, 1888. He resumed 
business soon after at 38 High street, where he continues to trade. 

Samuel Champlin, in the year 1865, opened a little clothing 
store in the basement of his house on Granite street. After car- 
rying on the business for about a year, he bought out the cloth- 
ing establishment of one Marston.who was carrying on the busi- 
ness in a little store in the Langworthy Block on Main street. 
After continuing there for some two years, he moved into the 
O. Stillman Block on Broad street. Four years later, in 1872, he 
again moved back to Main street, a few doors from his old loca- 
tion. Finally in the year 1875, he bought what was known as 
the Phebe Wilcox house, and after some alterations on the lower 
floor, made stores of it, one of which he occupied for his own 
business. Finally in December, 1878, he was burned out. He 
commenced immediately afterward, the erection of a briclc block 
known as the Champlin Block, and in one of the stores he again 
resumed business, and carried it on successfully until the year 
1886, when he retired from active business life. Mr. Champlin, 
while in business, was noted for his honesty, and thus Westerly 
lost, when he retired, one of her most valuable business men. 

Dodge & Wells started in the clothing business in the year 1875, 
in one of the stores in the Dixon House. A few years later, the 


firm name was changed to E. M. Dodge & Co. They still remain 
in the same location. 

George H. Babcock entered upon his career as clothier in April, 
1886, in the O. D. Wells Block. On the morning of the 17th of 
February, 1888, he with many other merchants, was entirely 
burned out. In the following March he resumed business in the 
old American Hall building, on High street until the August fol- 
lowing, when he again moved, this time into the Lewis Block on 
Main street, which had been remodelled and fitted up for that 
business. This store has the largest plate glass window in the 
state of Rhode Island, it being over eleven feet square. The 
building is now owned by Samuel G. Babcock. Many other 
merchants might be mentioned in this line of trade, but we have 
endeavored to give those only who have devoted their time and 
money exclusively to the clothing trade. 

Furniture. — The furniture trade was established in Westerly 
by George Gavitt in 1798. He was a native of the town. His 
shop was on the site now occupied by O. D. Hall's bakery. He 
was succeeded in business by George W. Gavitt about 1 830, and 
he continued trading until about 1850, at which time the busi- 
ness was moved to the other side of the river near the end of the 
bridge. Mr. Gavitt was succeeded by Clarke & Denison, who 
moved into the building now owned by Stanton Hazard. This 
firm was followed by Clarke & Hazard in 1853 ; from 1860 to 1868 
by Stanton Hazard ; and in 1872 by H. B. Gavitt & Co., who con- 
ducted it till 1878, when H. B. Gavitt, the present owner, took 
entire charge. The new building was erected in 1883. Mr. 
George Gavitt was also an undertaker and his son Arnold Gavitt 
was the first to keep ready made coffins. In 1868 E. B. Clarke 
& Co. established a furniture business in the village. About ten 
years ago the partnership was dissolved and E. B. Clarke contin- 
ued the business alone. In 1878 James M. Aldrich started a fur- 
niture store where the American Hall is now. He was succeed- 
ed by C. H. Hinckley who is there now. Mr. A. A. Stillman 
started his furniture store in 1888. 

Groceries. — The grocery trade gives business in the village 
of Westerly to thirty-five stores. The trade proper was estab- 
lished by Joseph H. Lewis in 1854. Mr. Lewis came to the place 
in 1828 and began trading in a general way with Lemuel Vose 
in an old building which stood on grounds now occupied by the 
Briggs Block. In 1852 he built his store at this place and after- 


ward opened his grocery and has continued the same to the pres- 
ent year. 

Among those who came afterward may be mentioned Nelson 
Brown, E. A. Lewis, A. H. Langworthy, Thomas W. Segar & Son, 
James S. Hull, Lyman Kenyon, E. Wilcox and others still in bus- 
iness. Among those who have traded formerly in this line were 
W. C. Pendleton, who sold goods and groceries from 1844 to 1886 ; 
Joshua Thompson and George D. Cross, Oliver D. Wells, Stephen 
and David Smith, and others. Mr. William Segar, E. A. Lewis 
and some other houses are doing a thriving business at the pres- 
ent time. 

The Boot and Shoe Trade. — John Reynolds Champlin is 
one of the oldest business men in the village of Westerly. He 
is a native of Exeter, born in 1811, a son of Benjamin and Eliza- 
beth S. Champlin and a descendant of Jeffrey Champlin of Ports- 
mouth, R. L, who came to this country in 1638. John R. Champlin 
received a common school education, and at twenty-one years of 
age began life for himself. He first taught school, then engaged 
in agricultural pursuits until 1837, when he returned to Westerly 
and established the dry goods and general mercantile business. 
He formed a partnership with Stephen A. AVilcox in 1844. Mr. 
Wilcox retired in 1853, and Mr. Champlin has since that time 
conducted the business in his own name, making a specialty of 
boots and shoes. He has been in the same place (No. 22 Main 
street) forty-four years and still attends to business. 

W. E. Stockwell, J. E. Collins, John B. Brown, John Leslie and 
George Stanton each established stores in the boot and shoe 
business at later dates. Mr. Collins began on High street in 
1857, and the others, with the exception of W. E. Stockwell, since 
that date. 

Drugs. — The drug trade was established in the village by 
William Henry Stillman in 1846. He had his store in the Potter 
building, which was burned in 1878. This store continued to be 
the leading one of its kind as long as it had an existence. The 
successors were : LI. W. & W. PL Stillman ; H. W. Stillman ; Still- 
man & Potter, 1850; Joseph H. Potter, 1854; Potter & Champlin; 
E. G. Champlin & Co., 1864, who were burned out by the fire in 
1878 ; Walter Price & Co., now on that site. 

During war times A. B. Collins, who is still trading, established 
his business, and about that time B. F. Thompson began. Fol- 
lowing came Knowles & Langworthy and E. H. Knowles. In 1879 


E. H. Burdick, a former clerk for Joseph H. Potter, bought 
Knowles out and still carries on the business. In 1879 A. L. 
Barber & Co., now C. M. Barber & Co., started their store. E. J. 
Day & Co. established their trade in 1886, their successors being 
Howe & Carr. 

Hardware. — This business was first established by James 
Barber and J. H. Porter in 1840, and they continued till 1850, 
when John Loveland came in as proprietor and continued the 
trade till 1861. J. H. Porter then conducted the business till 1879, 
when W. C. Willard, the present owner, bought him out. Nathan 
W. Langworthy established his hardware store in Westerly in 
1849. It was located on the site where A. A. Langworthy now 
keeps a grocery store. E. N. Denison, E. A. Fink, Maxson's 
vSons and Sherman & Burdick also carry on the hardware 

Public Houses. — Edward Denison once owned nearly the 
whole village of Westerly south of Babcock brook, which runs 
under East Broad street. He built a house on the present site of 
the Dixon House, which was afterward enlarged for a tavern. 
This in time was removed to make room for the present noble 
structure erected in 1866 and 1867 by Messrs. Babcock & Moss. 
It is composed of iron, stone and brick and was named the Dixon 
House in honor of a worthy family. 

The main building measures 112 by 61 feet ; the wing, 92 by 38 ; 
height, five stories, the material brick. The front of the lower 
story is iron ; this story is mainly devoted to shops and offices, 
elegantly finished with black walnut. The cost of the edifice and 
its attachments was about $300,000. 

The Dixon House is one of the very best hotels in the countr)^. 
It will accommodate three hundred persons as comfortably and 
as elegantly as any hotel in New York, and in the completeness 
of its furnishing it is probably not surpassed by any of them. 
Such a house is, doubtless, too large for the present needs of 
the enterprising and flourishing village in which it is erected, 
but the village will grow to it, and the house will aid the growth 
of the village, and will aid it in the kind of growth that is most 
desirable. Mr. William Segar has lately become owner of this 
valuable property, which is now under the proprietorship of C. 
W. Johnson. This elegant structure is lighted with gas through- 
out. The carpets, bedding, etc., were purchased of A.T. Stewart 
& Co., of New York, at a great cost. Some idea of the magnitude 


of this building may be gained from the statement made by the 
architect, Mr. Peleg Clarke, Jr., that it required for its construc- 
tion over a half million brick, 800,000 feet of lumber and 900 
tons of iron; and that there are fifty marble mantels in the 

The house near the west end of the bridge, now owned by 
Mrs. Martha C. Noyes, was formerly an inn. The first building 
erected purposely as an inn on the west side of the bridge was 
the Pawcatuck Hotel, composed of brick, built by Doctor Joseph 
D. Kenyon in 1853, and used as a public house till 1867, when it 
was sold simply to be used as a boarding house. For a time 
it was known as the " Red Jug." 

The Windsor Hotel was first opened as a public house by 
Smith & Phillips about ten years ago. It was then the property 
of Aaron Wolf, but is now owned by William Waldron. Mr. W. 
S. Robinson is running the house. He assumed the management 
in 1886. It has twenty-five rooms, and commands a good patron- 
age from the traveling public. 

The Leonard House was built by Thomas Hazard about 1835, 
and it is now owned and managed by Mr. Charles Leonard. Mr. 
Leonard came to Westerly in 1829, and after a trial at the livery 
business for a few years went into the hotel where the Dixon 
House now is in 1841. He remained there twenty-four years. 
He succeeded Mr. John Thurston, who was there in 1829. When 
the Dixon House was built Mr. Leonard came to his present 
stand, where he has since kept a first-class house. 

Banks of Westerly.* — The Washington Bank was organized 
June 21st, 1800, its capital stock being $50,000, with Rowse Bab- 
cock president and Arnold Clark cashier. Rowse Babcock acted 
as president of the bank until his death, which occurred in 1801. 
Colonel Thomas Noyes was then chosen its second president, 
and held the office until 1819. In 1819 Jeremiah Thurston was 
chosen its third president, holding the position till 1829. Nathan 
F. Dixon was chosen its fourth president in 1829, and continued 
to act as such until his death, in 1842, when his son, Nathan F. 
Dixon, was called to the place as its fifth president, and held the 
same until 1865, when the AVashington Bank was changed from 
a state to a national bank, and called the Washington National 
Bank. Mr. Dixon being chosen the first president of the national 
bank, continued to hold that office until his death in 1881. In 1881 

* By Edwin Babcock . 


Charles Perry, the third cashier of the Washington Bank, was 
chosen its second president under the national system, and has 
continued therein to the present time. 

Arnold Clark held the office of cashier of the Washington 
Bank until his death, in 1805. Thomas Perry was its second 
cashier from 1805 to his death in 1826. Charles Perry was chosen 
its third cashier in 1826, held the office until the year 1865, when 
the bank was changed from a state to a natiqnal bank. He was 
the first cashier of the Washington National Bank, and con- 
tinued to act till 1S80, when his son, Charles Perry, Jr., was 
chosen the second cashier of the national bank and has continued 
therein to the present time. 

The capital stock of the Washington National Bank is $150,000. 
The directors are : Charles Perry, Thomas Perry, Nelson Brown, 
Nathan F. Dixon, Edgar H. Cottrell, Oliver D. Wells, Joseph H. 
Potter, Albert L. Chester, B. Court Bentley. 

The Phenix Bank was organized in June, 1818, its capital stock 
being $50,000, with Amos Cross as president and Jesse Maxson 
cashier. Amos Cross served as president till the year 1823, when 
Edward Wilcox was chosen and continued in said office until 
1833. In 1833 Rowse Babcock became its president and served 
till 1837, when his son Rowse Babcock, Jr., succeeded him and 
was president until 1865, when the Phenix Bank was changed 
from a state to a national bank, and assumed the name of the 
National Phenix Bank, he also being chosen the first president 
of the National Phenix Bank and held the office until his death 
in 1872. In 1872 Edwin Babcock, son of the third president of 
the Phenix Bank, was chosen the second president under the na- 
tional system and is still serving the institution. 

Jesse Maxson held the office of cashier of the Phenix Bank till 
1829, when Stephen Wilcox was chosen and held the office till 
1836. In 1836 Ethan Foster was chosen cashier and acted in the 
said capacity till 1865. In 1865 J. Bailey Foster was chosen cash- 
ier of the National Phenix Bank and still holds the office. 

The capital stock of the National Phenix Bank is now $150,- 
000, and its directors are : Edwin Babcock, William D. Wells, 
William Hoxsey, J. Barclay Foster, William A. Burdick, Frank- 
lin Metcalf, George N. Burdick. 

The Niantic Bank was incorporated as a state institution in 
1854, with a capital stock of $200,000, which was subsequently in- 
creased to $250,000, and its name was changed to the National 


Niantic Bank in 1865. Horatio N. Campbell was chosen presi- 
dent of the Niantic Bank in 1854, continued its president under 
its organization as a state institution, and was the president of 
the National Niantic Bank from 1865 to 1885, when James M. 
Pendleton was chosen president and still holds the office. James 
M. Pendleton held the office of cashier of the Niantic Bank from 
1854 to 1865, and was the cashier of the National Niantic Bank 
from 1865 to 1871, when David F. Stillman vv^as chosen cashier 
and still holds the office. The directors of the National Niantic 
Bank are : James M. Pendleton, Nathan H. Langworthy, Charles 
H. Chapman, Charles P. Cottrell, Thomas W. Segar, William B. 
Hull, William Segar, Charles B. Coon. 

The Westerly Savings Bank was incorporated in 1854, and the 
small deposits have increased up to this time to the large amount 
of $1,400,000. Jesse L. Moss was its first president, holding his 
office from 1854 to May 5th, 1856. In 1856 Thomas Perry was 
chosen its second president and still holds the office. Simeon F. 
Perry was chosen treasurer in 1854 and has continued in office 
to the present time. The present board of trustees are : Thomas 
Perry, Oliver D. Wells, Nelson Brown, B. Court Bentley, Charles 
Perry, Joseph H. Potter, Albert L. Chester. 

The Niantic Savings Bank was incorporated in 1870, its 
first president being James M. Pendleton, who still holds the 
office. David F. Stillman was its first treasurer, holding the posi- 
tion from 1870 to 1872. Henry Morgan was chosen its second 
treasurer, and after serving ten years was succeeded by Thomas 
Vincent, who still holds the office. The present amount of de- 
posits is $1,050,000, and its trustees are : Thomas W. Segar, Sam- 
uel H. Cross, Nathan H. Langworthy, William B. Hull, Eugene 
B. Pendleton, William Segar. 

The Mechanics' Savings Bank was incorporated in 1870, with 
Ethan Foster as president and Henry Foster as treasurer. Ethan 
Foster served fifteen years, and was succeeded by William C. 
Pendleton, who served two years. At the death of William C. 
Pendleton in 1887, William A. Burdick was chosen president and 
still holds the office. Henry Foster acted as treasurer for twelve 
years, when J. Barclay Foster was chosen treasurer and still holds 
the office. The present amount of deposits is $731,000, and its 
trustees are : William A. Burdick, William Hoxsey, John Love- 
land, Orville Stillman, A. N. Lewis, L B. Crandall. 

Schools.— The schools of Westerly are in a flourishing condi- 


tion, there being none better in the state. Following is a list of 
the principals of the High School of Westerly : O. H. Kite, Sep- 
tember, 1870, to January, 1873, died January 16th, 1873 ; James 
Patterson and George D. Hersey, January, 1873, to June, 1873 ; 
W. H. Littlefield, September, 1873, to June, 1874 ; J. M. E. Drake, 
September, 1874, to June, 1876 ; Sidney B. Frost, September, 1876- 
to June, 1878 ; T. D. Adams, September, 1878, to June, 1882 ; Eliel 
S. Ball, September, 1882, to June, 1886 ; Everett C. Willard, Sep- 
tember, 1886,- 

Christ Church. — Services according to the usages of the 
Protestant Episcopal church were first holden in the "Old 
Union Meeting House," in the village of Westerly, in the year 
1833, by Reverend Erastus De Wolf, a missionary of the Diocesan 
Convention, and his labors continued about seven months. Christ 
church was organized November 24th, 1834, through the instru- 
mentality of the Reverend John A. Clark, at that time rector of 
Grace church in the city of Providence, R. I. In 1836 a church 
building was erected costing about $6,000, and the year follow- 
ing, a rectory was built at an expense of $2,500, which has since 
been increased to nearly double the original size. In 1872 the 
old church building was burned and the present new church was 
built in 1874 at an expense of $20,000. 

The first rector of Christ church was the Reverend James Pratt, 
whose rectorship continued from 1834 to December 29th, 1839. 
Reverend William H. Newman became rector at Easter, 1841, 
and remained till Easter, 1844, when he was succeeded by the 
Reverend Thomas H. Vail (now the bishop of Kansas), who re- 
mained till Easter, 1857. In 1858 Reverend Arthur Mason be- 
came rector. Reverend John P. Hubbard succeeded Mr. Mason 
in 1860 and continued till 1872. In 1873 Reverend Darius R. 
Brewer officiated as rector and remained to the time of his death 
in 1881, when the Reverend William M. Groton became rector 
and still holds the office. This church commenced in 1834 with 
39 communicants, and the present number is 233. The first or- 
gan in the old church was erected in 1845, at a cost of $800. In 
1878 this instrument was disposed of and a much larger one was 
presented to the church by Mrs. Hannah Babcock, manufactured 
by Messrs. J. Midmer & Son, of Brooklyn, N. Y., and cost $2,000. 

Grace Methodist Episcopal Church. — The Methodists gath- 
ered a church in Westerly near 1846. The original members of 
this society were: Charles Goodwin and wife, James S. Horton, 


James A. Horton, Mother Otis, Florinda Otis and Charles Cong- 
don, class leader. The society was organized in 1847 with P. T. 
Tierny preacher in charge. 

The following preachers and the dates of appointment to this 
church are here given : 1848, M. Chase and D. D. Bently ; 1849 
and 1850, W. C. Cady; 1851, N. Bemis ; 1862, C. House; 1853 
and 1854, L. B. Bates ; 1855 and 1856, G. W. Wooding ; 1857, C. 
Hammond ; 1868, C. N. Brooks ; 1859 and 1860, E. S. Stanley ; 
1861, C. S. Sanford; 1862, F. Upham ; (from 1863 to 1864 there 
was no preacher, but prayer and class meetings were kept up) ; 
1864 and 1865, V. A. Cooper ; 1866, G. S. Alexander ; 1867 and 
1868, G. A. Morse ; 1869, A. W. Mills ; 1870, J. S. Thomas ; 1871, 
E. S. Stanley; 1872, N. G. Axtell; 1873, 1874 and 1875, F. A. 
Crafts ; 1876, J. W. Willett ; 1877 and 1878, R. Clark ; 1879 and 
1880, W. P. Hyde ; 1881 and 1882, J. B. Hamilton ; 1883, G. W. 
Anderson ; 1884, 1885 and 1886, W. Ela; 1887, S. N. Reade ; 1888, 
J. E. Hawkins. 

The audience room of the house of worship was finished dur- 
ing the pastorate of J. B. Hamilton, much of which is due to his 
energy in accomplishing that end. The church at present is in 
a prosperous condition. 

Pawcatuck Seventh Day Baptist Church.* — When and how 
this church was organized can be no better given than in the 
following statement taken from the first page of the old record 

" We, the following named persons, members of the First and 
Second Seventh-day churches in Hopkinton, and the 
First Seventh-day Baptist Church in Westerly, having had the 
previous consent and approbation of the above named churches, 
by the agency and assistance of Eld. William B. ISIaxson and 
Eld. Daniel Coon, were regularly organized into a distinct church 
in fellowship with the churches above named, at the Union 
Meeting house, at the village of Pawcatuck, in Westerly, on the 
16th day of April, 1840, styled the Pawcatuck Seventh-day Bap- 
tist church ; and did then and there enter into solemn covenant 
to walk in and maintain the commands of God and the faith of 
Jesus Christ, and all the ordinances of the house of God, taking 
the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments for our only rule 
of faith and practice, and agreeable thereto, to maintain a regu- 
lar gospel church discipline." 

* By Reverend O. U. Whitford. 


To this declaration of organization and under the date of the 
same, were appended the names of fifty persons. Only five of 
these fifty constituent members still retain their membership in 
the church. These five are : William D. Wells, Sanford P. Still- 
man, Horatio S. Berry, Martha ISIaxson and Henry W. Stillman. 
Of those who were constituent members and now living in the 
fellowship of other churches of our order only three remain : 
Deacon Benjamin F. Langworthy, of Alfred Center, N. Y.; Mrs. 
Mary Gavitt Gillette, of Shiloh, N. J., and George Greenman, of 
Greenmanville, Conn. There have been added to the church 
since it was organized some over 700 members. Dismissed by 
letter, excommunication and death during these years of exist- 
ence have carried on the work of diminution as well, so that the 
membership January 1st, 1889, was 340. 

This church has had nine pastors. The first pastor was Alex- 
ander Campbell, and those who followed him in the pastorale 
were Isaac Moore, A. B. Burdick, Thomas R. Williams, A. H. 
Lewis, Nathan Wardner, George E. Tomlinson, L. A. Platts, and 
the present pastor, O. U. Whitford. Besides these pastors the 
following ministers have served the church as stated or temporary 
supplies : Giles M. Langworthy, George B. Utter, L. R. Swinney, 
T. L. Gardiner, W. C. Titsworth and J. W. Morton. 

The deacons who have served the church but are now dead or 
have moved away were William Stillman, Jonathan P. Stillman, 
Benjamin F. Langworthy and Edwin G. Champlin. The present 
deacons are William Maxson, Nathan H. Langworthy and Ira 
B. Crandall. The following brethren have served the church as 
clerks : Jonathan Maxson, George H. Babcock, David F. Still- 
man, Edwin G. Champlin, Albert Brown and J. Irving Maxson. 

For the first eight years the church held its meetings for public 
worship in the old Union meeting house in Westerly. On Feb- 
ruary 23d, 1848, its present house of worship, situated on Main 
street, Westerly, having been completed, was dedicated. Elder 
Lucius Crandall preached the dedicatory sermon. This dedica- 
tion of their new house of worship was followed by a widespread 
and most thorough revival of religion, the good and lasting 
fruits of which are felt to-day. This house of worship was en- 
larged and remodeled in the summer and autumn of 1885, and 
the winter and spring following of 1886. It was newly frescoed, 
newly seated, stained windows put in — a most beautiful window 
in design and execution back of the pulpit — new furniture, a 


very fine church organ, the church parlors enlarged and refin- 
ished, a fine kitchen and ladies' toilet room, a babtistery, and 
steam heating, all at the cost of about $10,000. The stairway, 
the vestibule and the audience room are finished in cherry. 
With this enlargement and these improvements, though the ex- 
terior of the meeting house is plain and unpretentious, it has the 
finest and most spacious parlors and conveniences for church 
socials, and the most beautiful audience room of any church in 
the town. 

This enlarged and refitted house of worship was rededicated 
to the Lord April 17th, 1886, by dedicatory services morning and 
evening, conducted by L. A. Platts, D.D., and A. H. Lewis, D.D., 
former pastors of the church, assisted by the present pastor, 0. 
U. Whitford. The Pawcatuck Seventh-day Baptist church and 
the sister churches are in harmony with the Baptists of our land 
in? regard to all the fundamental doctrines of Christianity, ex- 
cepting upon the question of the Sabbath, holding that the 
seventh day of the week is the Bible Sabbath, the day set apart 
and blessed as the Sabbath for man in all time, and therefore still 
binding upon all men. This church holds but one service on the 
Sabbath. It maintains a large and flourishing Sabbath school, a 
weekly prayer and conference meeting, a Young Peoples' Society 
of Christian Endeavor, a Ladies' Benevolent Society, and the 
other usual meetings of a Christian church. Ever since its or- 
ganization it has been an active agent in every reform for saving 
and elevating men, and has always been active and prominent in 
every effort to build up the place of which it is a part, in educa- 
tion, virtue, good order, temperance, purity and religion. Among 
its members and congregation there have been and are some of 
the best and most highly honored citizens of the state, and some 
of the most reliable and successful business men in Washington 
county. May there rise up those who, as its members, will per- 
petuate it and continue its fair name, and extend its light and 

First Baptist Church. — This body, with but seventeen con- 
stituent members, was organized September 16th, 1835, on 
which day their first pastor. Reverend John Waterman, received 
ordination. Ill health compelled Mr. Waterman to resign in 1836, 
and he died November 26th, 1837. His successor was Reverend 
Albert Palmer, who officiated till 1843, and was succeeded by 
Reverend Edward T. Hiscox. A meeting house, costing about 


four thousand dollars, was erected in 1845. JMr. Hiscox resigned 
in 1847, and was followed by Reverend Frederic Denison, whose 
first term of office closed November 15th, 1854. The parsonage, 
costing $2,000, was built in 1852. The ministers since 1854 have 
been : Reverend William Stowe, Reverend William Fitz, Rever- 
end Nehemiah Bennett, Mr. Fitz for a second term, Mr. Denison 
for a second term, Mr. James Paterson, Mr. Thomas G. Wright, 
Mr. John Evans and Reverend Mr. Perry. There is no pastor at 

Besides the pastors, the following persons received into the 
church have become Baptist ministers : William C. Walker, Orrin 
T. Walker, Nicholas V. Stedman, Nicholas H. Matteson, William 
Sturgeon, Benjamin A. Greene. The whole number received 
into the church from its origin has been over a thousand. 

Calvary Baptist Church. — This church was organized in 
1870, with a membership of 42. They have a house of worship, 
erected in 1875, at an expense of $18,000. The pastors have 
been : Reverend E. F. Strickland, Reverend James Paterson, 
Reverend Hugh O. Pentecost and the present pastor. Reverend 
B. D. Hahn. 

Congregational Church. — The Congregational church, now 
removed to the Connecticut side of the river, but first organized 
in this town, dates from February 14th, 1843. This church has 
been supplied by Reverend Samuel B. Goodenow and Reverends 
Moore, Brown and Whitemore. Reverend A. L. Whitman, who 
wisely served in a pastorate of nineteen years, was the first one 
ever installed by the body. The meeting house was erected in 
1848, and finished in 1849. The successors of Mr. Whitman have 
been Reverend Edward W. Root, Reverend A. H. Wilcox, Rev- 
erend D. N. Beach and Reverend George L. Clarke. 

Christian Church. — This body, many of whose constituent 
members withdrew from the " Hill Church," was organized De- 
cember 24th, 1843. Their house of worship, called the " Chapel," 
was dedicated in 1846. At one time the church was in a state of 
suspended animation. The pastors have been : Reverends G. S. 
Alexander, A. W, Nilo, George A. Moss, J. A. Thomas, N. G. 
Atwell, F. A. Crafts and Benjamin F. Clayton. 

Westerly Fire District. — About the year 1827 a small fire 
engine without suction hose and supplied with water by means 
of buckets, was purchased by subscription and a company formed 
which obtained a charter under the name of the Pawcatuck Fire 


Engine Company. The office of captain was filled successively 
by Joseph R. Vincent, Arnold Gavitt, Nathan Newberry and Ed- 
ward Clarke. Many of the names of the most solid citizens of 
Westerly figure in the history of this company. 

In 1844 a large fire occurring on the Connecticut side of the 
river called public attention to the needs of more efficient meas- 
ures for the suppression of fires, and a subscription being circu- 
lated, money was raised and two engines were purchased. Protec- 
tion No. 1 and Relief No. '2. In 184.5 Horace Babcock, John E. 
Weeden, Oliver D. Wells, Stephen Smith, Amos Collins, James 
H. Porter, George S. Coy, Horatio S. Berry and their associates 
and successors were created a body corporate with perpetual suc- 
cession under the name of the Westerly Fire Engine Company. 

The January fire of 1868 on the Connecticut side, and the burn- 
ing of the planing mill of Messrs. Maxson & Co., October 30th, of 
the same year, which caused great loss of property, led the citi- 
zens to hold a meeting soon after, which resulted in an agreement 
to be taxed /w rata for the purchase and maintenance of suitable 
fire apparatus. Delays, however, intervened, and it was not un- 
til about the middle of January, 1869, that the necessary appar- 
atus was procured, which consisted of a steam fire engine, a hand 
fire engine and a hose cart. At an adjourned meeting held Feb- 
ruary 20th, 1869, S. H. Cross was chosen moderator, and T. V. 
Stillman clerk. At this meeting it was reported, " that this or- 
ganization shall be known as the Volunteer Fire Department of 
Westerly, R. I., and shall consist of the officers and members of 
any fire company which now exists or which may be formed here- 
after." They also reported a code of by-laws and a board of offi- 
cers which were' elected as follows : Chief engineer, Charles Max- 
son ; first assistant, Horace Babcock ; second assistant, James M. 
Pendleton ; third assistant, Calvert B. Cottrell ; fourth assistant, 
Ichabod Dickinson. 

The Westerly Fire Engine Company, No. 1, in the meantime 
having received its charter, organized under it and elected the 
following officers : Foreman, William H. Chapman ; first assis- 
tants, Henry B. Gavitt and Albert G. Howard ; second assistants, 
Peleg S. Tefft, Jr., and Charles B. Lawton ; engineer. Nelson A. 
Woodward, together with other officers. At this time the engine 
house on Union street was altered and repaired and put in suit- 
able condition for the storage of engines. 

On June 4th, 1869, a fire broke out in the fire room of the plan- 


ing mill of C. Maxson & Co., and spread so rapidly that in fifteen 
minutes the whole building appeared like a sheet of flame. The 
engines were promptly on the ground, and the steamer was ready 
to operate. Cojitrary to the expectation of all who Avitnessed the 
fire the frame of the building and most of the machinery was 
saved, such being the efficiency of the company and the working 
of their engines. 

Indebtedness coming upon the company it became expedient 
to obtain a charter, that money might be raised. This charter 
was obtained at the May session of the general assembly in 1870, 
part of which reads as follows : " All that part of the town of 
Westerly in the bounds of School District No. 1, of said town, is 
hereby incorporated into a district to be called the AVesterly Fire 
District. Said district may have a common seal, sue and be sued 
and enjoy the other powers generally incident to corporations." 
In 1871, cisterns in the village were located, and a tax of $o,00(» 
on the ratable property was assessed. Xew hose was pur- 
chased and other obligations and innovations made from time to 
time, until now the Fire Company of AVesterly is well equipped 
for any emergency. 

Public Library. — At a meeting of the citizens of the village 
and vicinity on the evening of December 7th, 1847, immediately 
after the closing exercises of a Teachers' Institute, Mr. Barnard, 
the school commissioner of the state, who was present and had 
addressed the assembly, was called to the chair, a secretary was 
appointed and the subject of establishing a public library was 
presented and debated. After a full consideration and discussion 
of the subject the following resolutions were adopted : 

" Voted, That Messrs. (7 in number) be a committee (one 

from each of the religious societies in town) to circulate subscrip- 
tion papers and to collect money for establishing a public library. 

" Voted, That the stock of such library be divided into shares the 
price of which shall be two dollars each , no subscription to be 
binding until two hundred and fifty such shares have been taken. 

" Voted, That the committee aforesaid be authorized to take 
such further action in relation to the subject as they may deem 
proper, excepting so far as they are bound by the above votes." 

This committee having met together, divided the village and 

neighborhood into seven districts, to each of which by mutual 

agreement one of their number was appointed. A subscription 

paper having been circulated, by the 27th of that month more 



than three hundred shares had been subscribed, and upon the 
meeting of the committee it was voted " that a committee of three 
be appointed to procure or draft a constitution and by-laws for 
the use of the subscribers and present the same at their next 
meeting." This committee was appointed January 17th, 1848, 
and the constitution and by-laws presented by them were adopt- 
ed, and on January 31st, 1848, were recorded by the town clerk in 
the Book of Land Evidences of Westerly. 

In the meantime, December 27th, a committee had been ap- 
pointed " to procure a catalogue of books to cost about one thou- 
sand dollars and present the same to the subscribers." The sum 
expended for books was exactly eleven hundred dollars, and the 
number of separate volumes in the library purchased at that time 
was upwards of two thousand and fifty. Of these some fifty or 
sixty are large folios and quartos, about four hundred and fifty 
octavos, many large thick royal 8vos., about six hundred duodeci- 
mos and the remaining seven hundred and fifty 16 mos., 18 mos., 
etc., nearly all standard works. In this latter respect probably 
the selection here made is as good as can be found for the money 

In 1849 the first catalogue was published, giving a list of sub- 
jects, a list of authors, with the names of the same placed alpha- 
betically and under each name all such works of the author as 
belonged to the library. Mr. Barnard kindly rendered his aid in 
the selection and purchase of these books, and the catalogue pub- 
lishing that list will show the great care and wisdom exercised 
in the matter. Of itself this catalogue is a landmark in the his- 
tory of this library worthy of notice, and the valuable books 
herein enumerated should find an abiding place in every library. 
The present officers of the association are as follows : President, 

; vice-president, J. Alonzo Babcock ; secretary, Ethan 

Wilcox ; treasurer, Ira B. Crandall ; directors, George H. Utter, 
A. H. Spicer, Nelson Brown ; librarian, Ethan Wilcox ; assistant 
librarians, Frederick R. Wilcox, Fannie E. Wilcox. 

Women's Christian Temperance Union, — This society was 
organized October 9th, 1882, with thirty members and officers as 
follows : President, Mrs. Abby C. Griffin ; vice-presidents, Mrs. 
Abby Babcock, Mrs. Mary B. Clark, Mrs. John Pendleton, Miss 
Lillie F. Nichols ; corresponding secretary. Miss Lillie F. Nichols; 
recording secretary. Miss Abby J. Cross. 

At the first meeting of the union ten departments of work 


were planned, each department to be under the management of 
a competent superintendent: 1st, department, distribution of 
temperance literature ; 2d, temperance instruction in schools ; 
3d, introduction of the pledge in Sabbath schools ; 4th, juvenile 
work; 5th, unfermented wine at the Lord's table; 6th, prison, 
jail and almshouse visitation ; 7th, signing the pledge ; 8th, con- 
stitutional amendments ; 9th, relations with the press ; 10th, 

At the annual meeting, October, 1885, Mrs. A. C. Griffin re- 
signed the position of president and was succeeded by Mrs. O. U. 
Whitford. At the election which gave prohibition to our state, 
Westerly gave only thirteen negative votes out of a list of eight 
hundred voters. But this was not surprising, as the town had 
had no license for nearly forty years. 

At the present time the union has fifty members and eighteen 
honorary members. The first name on the list of honorary 
members was John Hobart Cross, who died May 10th, 1884. 
Mr. Cross was an ardent temperance worker, fully realizing 
the need of organized work for the suppression of intemper- 
ance. It was largely through his influence that the Westerly 
Union was formed. He was always ready to advise and en- 
courage the members of the Union in their duties. His last 
expression of kindness to them was an invitation to occupy 
very pleasant rooms for their meetings gratuitously. 

The eleventh annual meeting of the State Union of the W. 
C. T. U. was held in Westerly September 9th, 10th and 11th, 1885. 
The records of the Union show good work accomplished by the 
different departments already mentioned. Other work has also 
been done, such as circulating petitions to secure the prohibitory' 
laws, securing lecturers to speak on questions of vital import- _ 
ance for the advancement of the cause, looking after and assist- 
ing those that have been brought to destitution by the use of 
intoxicants, arranging for open air meetings and attending 
town meetings to circulate votes whenever questions were to 
come before the voters relating to temperance. Whenever or 
wherever temperance work is called for there are ready and 
willing workers to obey the summons. 

After six years of organized work the W. C. T. U. of Westerly 
still finds that it must continue to work on, ever vigilant, looking 
steadily ahead to meet with determined opposition, all efforts 
on the part of those who are sowing broadcast evil influences 
for the destruction of the loved ones of our homes. 


The Independent Order of Odd Fellows. — Narragansett 
Lodge, No. 7, was instituted in 1844, and reorganized in 1871. N. 
G., A. G. Thompson ; V. G., J. B. Cox ; R. S., B. F. Greenman ; 
P. S., Alfred Willis ; treasurer, C. W. Andrews. 

Masonic. — Franklin Lodge, No. ■!<), A. F. and A. M., was insti- 
tuted A. D. 1856. Stated communication, Tuesday before full 
moon in each month. Communications held in Masonic Hall, 
No. 40 Main street, S. A. Champlin's block. W. M., George Bel- 
lamy, Jr.; S. W., Charles W. Willard ; J. W., W. F. Saunders; 
treasurer, Albert H, Spicer ; secretary, George W. Butler ; chap- 
lain, James Potter; S. D„ Peter Cahill; J. D., William Stockwell, 
S. S., A. J. Utter ; J. S., Edwin A. Lewis ; marshal, B. Court. Bent- 
ley ; musical director, James Stillrpan ; tyler, Thomas V. Still- 

Pawcatnck Lodge, No. 90, A. F and A. I\L, was instituted A. D. 
1863. Stated communication, second Thursday in each month. 
Masonic Hall, No. 40 Main street. W. JM., John H. Hodgson ; S. 
W., E. H. Burdick ; J. W., Henry Gavitt ; treasurer, John Mc- 
Donald ; secretary, G. R. Greene ; S. D., W. H. Greene ; J, D., H. 
A, Sawyer; S. S., William King; J. S., T. B. Gardner; chaplain, 
John Pendleton ; marshal, Samuel Stedman ; tyler, A. C. Kenyon, 

Palmer Chapter, No. :3S, R. A. AL, was instituted A. D. 1864. 
Stated convocation, first Monday in each month, Masonic Hall, 
No. 40 Main street. H. P., J. A. Babcock ; K., George Bellamy, 
Jr.; S., Chas. H. Smith ; treasurer, T. Y. Stillman ; secretary, 
Geo. W. Butler; C. H., A. H. Spicer; P. S., James Potter; R. A. 
C, C. W Willard ; G. M. 3d V., Wm. Segar ; G. jSI. 2d V., Edwin 
A. Lewis; G. M. 1st V., W. F. Saunders; tyler, John H. 

Narragansett Coinmandery, No. :'7, K. T., was instituted A.D. 1869. 
Stated assembly, second Monday in each month. Masonic Hall, 
No. 40 Main street. E. C, T. V Stillman ; G., S. C. Burdick ; C. 
G., Jas. Potter ; prelate, J. A. Babcock ; S. W.,William Prestwich ; 
J. W., George Forster ; treasurer, William Hoxsey ; recorder, A. 
H. Spicer ; standard bearer, Horace Brightman ; sword bearer, 
John McDonald ; warder, C. W. Willard ; guards, C. H. Smith, 
G. R. Coy, Alex. Rose ; sentinel, V. C. Stillman. 

MiLlTKKY.— Westerly Rifles.— Co. F., First Battalion. Captain, 
Rufus V. Woods ; first lieutenant, George W. Norman ; second 
lieutenant, Charles H. Ledward. Meet for drill every Thursday 
night, at Armory Hall, Main, near School. 


Co. E, First Battalion. Captain, Everett E. Whipple. Meet 
for drill at Armory Hall, 'Slain, near School, every Tuesday 

Sheridan Guards. — Co. B, Third Regiment, C. N. G. Captain, 
Daniel P. Keleher. Meet at Armory, Coggswell street, Pawca- 
tuck, every Thursday evening for drill. 

Gas Light Company. — AVesterly Gas Light Co. was incorpor- 
ated in 1861. Capital, $50,000. President, Edwin Babcock ; super- 
intendent, F. AV Taylor ; treasurer, J. i\L Pendleton. Office at 
the :Moss Manufacturing Co., Mechanic street. 

Telephone Exchange.— Established April, 18S2. Office, 8 
High street. Lines extend to the following localities : Hope 
Valley, Ashaway, Kenyon's Llills, Watch Hill, Noyes Beach, 
Hopkinton City, Potter Hill, Woodville, R. I., and North Ston- 
ington and Laurel Glen, Conn. 

Business Men's Association.— Organized May 3d, 1883. 
Rooms, Briggs' building. President, J. Alonzo Babcock ; vice- 
presidents, C. B. Cottrell, Alexander Carmichael ; executive com- 
mittee, Chas. W. Willard, A. H. Spicer, Walter Price, ililo M. 
Clarke, Herbert J. Pomroy, M.D.; board of arbitrators, J. A. 
Babcock, Thos. H. Peabody, Chas. Perry, Jr., Ethan Wilcox, H. 
N. Crandall, M.D.; secretary, Charles Perrin ; treasurer, Eugene 
B. Pendleton. 

Grand Army of the Republic. — Budlong Post, No. 18, was insti- 
tuted in 1873. Commander, David Sunderland ; senior vice, 
Charles H. Holdredge ; junior vice, Joseph Bedford ; surgeon, 
Thomas A. Barber ; quartermaster, Horace Swan ; chaplain. Rev- 
erend W. B. Cary ; adjutant, Wilson S. Mowry ; officer of the day, 
Henry L. Babcock ; officer of the guard, Tyler Collins ; sergeant 
major, Judson L. Crandall ; quartermaster sergeant, Charles Sul- 
livan. Present officers : Commander, Colonel J. Alonzo Babcock ; 
senior vice, Colonel Henry C. Card ; junior vice, Thomas W. Coy; 
chaplain, George H. Martin ; adjutant, Isaac F. Burdick ; quar- 
termaster, Aldrich C. Kenyon ; officer of the day, Daniel S. Kin- 
ney ; officer of the guard, John H. Tanner; surgeon, Edward H. 

Budlong Relief Corps. — President, Mrs. M. J. B. Clarke ; senior 
vice-president, Mrs. Amelia Baldi ; junior vice. Miss Lizzie Stev- 
ens ; secretary, Miss Flora Marriott. 

Hancock Post, No. 81, was organized June 24th, 1886, with thirty- 
seven charter members and the following officers : Commander, 


C. Browning ; senior vice, D. Sunderland ; junior vice, Walter 
Price ; adjutant, George F. Lamson ; surgeon, J. H. Merrill ; chap- 
lain, Horace Stillman ; quartermaster, Joshua Clarke ; officer of 
the day, A. N. Crandall ; officer of the guard, W. S. Mowry ; ser- 
geant major, Henry Babcock ; quartermaster sergeant, Judson 
Crandall. Number of members present year 64. Present officers : 
Commander, D. Sunderland; senior vice, Charles Holdredge; 
junior vice, Joseph Bedford; adjutant, W. S. Mowry; surgeon, 
Thomas Barbour ; chaplain, William Carey ; quartermaster, 
Horace Swan ; officer of the day, Henry Babcock ; officer of the 
guard, William T. Collins; sergeant major, Judson Crandall; 
quartermaster sergeant, C. E. Sullivan. Meetings, second and 
fourth Thursday of each month. Post Hall, Potter's Block. 

Hancock Relief Corps. — President, Ida E. Babcock ; senior vice- 
president, Ellen F. Lamson ; junior vice, Ellen M. Sunderland ; 
secretary, Mrs. S. Nellie Lanphear. Meetings second and fourth 
Tuesday evenings. Richmond's Block. 

Order of "Yo-ii'Yi.^Burnsidc Lodge, No. 57. President, Carey A. 
Main ; vice-president, Joseph Burns ; past-president, Henry M. 
Stillman. Meetings, first and third Wednesday evenings, in 
Temple of Honor Hall. 

American Legion of Yioyov..— Westerly Council, No. 71. Com- 
mander, Thomas Kinney ; vice-commander, Xavier Staddler ; or- 
ator, John Brines ; past-commander, Matthias Wicklund ; secre- 
tary, Doctor H. W. Rose. 



Rowse Baboock. — The Chapman Family. — Peleg Clarke. — Benjamin F. Clark. — 
Charles B. Coon. — Calvert B. Cottrell. — Amos Cross. — Daniel F. Larkin. — 
Azro N. Lewis. — Jonathan Maxson. — Charles Maxson. — Charles Perry. — 
James Monroe Pendleton. — Eugene B. Pendleton. — Thomas Wells Potter. — 
Joseph H. Potter. — William D. Potter. — Thomas Wanton Segar. — Orlando 
Smith. — Orlando R. Smith. — Thomas V. StiUman. — Thomas Vincent. — Wager 
Weeden. — John E. Weeden. 

RowsE Babcock* was born in May, 1803. He was the eldest 
son of Rowse and Hannah Babcock. He was educated in the 
local schools of Westerly. In the early part of his business life 
he was engaged in miscellaneous retail trade, but fortunately for 
himself and for his country his ambition soon outgrew that limited 
sphere, and for more than forty years the industrial history of 
Westerly,without the conspicuous name of Rowse Babcock, would 
be the play of Hamlet with the part of Hamlet left out. He com- 
menced the manufacture of woolen goods at Niantic, in AVesterly, 
in 1830, and accordingly was one of the pioneers in that business. 
He was by no means a timid man, but exceedingly cautious. He 
began in a very small way, so small that he was himself after- 
ward much amused at the anxiety he had over the few looms he 
was running. But when he boldly started up a few more at 
Ashaway his father told him his " failure was only a question of 
time." But Mr. Babcock's business, as well as personal, character 
had one solid foundation to rest on and that was his clear headed 
and strong common sense. There was nothing imaginative or 
visionary about him. 

In 1834 the White Rock Company was formed, ]Mr. Babcock 
taking two-thirds of the stock, which was before owned by par- 
ties in Providence. It was the purchase of a part of this property 
before which led to the formation of the partnership between 
Rowse Babcock and Jesse L. Moss, which continued with the 

* By John E. Weeden, M. D. 


happiest results during Mr. Babcock's life. They -were both of 
them preparing to purchase the property, but wisely decided to 
unite in the purchase and avoid competition. This became one 
of the most distinguished firms in the state, doing a large busi- 
ness, with a credit as undoubted as the Bank of England. The 
property at Stillmanville on the east side of the river belonged 
to Babcock & Moss, and these two establishments constituted 
all the manufacturing property in the village of Westerly at that 
time. They turned out' between two and three million yards of 
plaid linseys a year. In 1849 the White Rock cotton mill was 
built by this firm. It was and is now one of the finest mill 
estates in New England. It will be seen that Mr. Babcock not 
only furnished the largest part of the capital which sustained 
the business of Westerly, but was himself an active worker in 
the business, for which he was by nature admirably fitted. 
Always cool, deliberate and self-possessed, no man could ever ■ 
tell by his appearance whether he was making or losing 

Being always absorbed in his business and a favorite in his 
father's family, he did not marry early in life. But when he 
came to it, he did it as he did everything else, judiciously. In 
1852 he married Miss Mary Townsend, of Newport, daughter of 
Solomon and Ann Pearce Townsend ; a lady of superior culture 
and refinement, who made him an attractive and happy home 
du.ring the last twenty )'ears of his laborious and useful life. 
Notwithstanding his large and constant business cares, Mr. Bab- 
cock devoted a reasonable part of his time and money to the im- 
provement of the village, especially the churches and schools. 
In regard to Mr. Babcock's Christian character, I am happy to be 
able to quote a much better and competent authority than my 
own. In an address delivered at the funeral of Mr. Rowse Bab- 
cock by Bishop Clarke, of Rhode Island, he said : 

" The relation which Mr. Babcock sustained to this community 
as a citizen was very peculiar. No man living, no man who has 
ever lived, is so identified with the welfare and prosperity of the 
town of Westerly, and has done so much to advance its best in- 
terests as he. Blessed by a kind Providence in his temporal af- 
fairs, he has not, as so many rich men have done, sought only 
for those investments which would yield him the largest pecuniary 
profit, but he has used his means to advance the general good of 
society, and contributed generously to every object which com- 




mended itself to his judg-ment and consideration. Singularly 
kind to those who were in his employ, and always ready to pro- 
mote their best good, he has attached them to himself by the 
strongest bonds of respect and affection ; and to-day they mourn 
the loss of their best friend. At an age when such an example 
is sorely needed, he has stood forth as a conspicuous illustration 
of the loftiest integrity and honor ; no man ever suspected him 
of questionable practices ; no man ever doubted his integrity. 
The heaviest blow that could have fallen upon the business pros- 
perity of "Westerlv has come upon it in the loss of this noble and 
princely man. His modesty was as noticeable as his worth, and 
the sweetness and evenness of his temper was such as to disarm 
opposition. You who have lived with him here day by day are 
more competent to express his goodness than I am, and I feel 
that it is not possible for me to do justice to his merits. The 
Christian character of our departed friend has been equally con- 
spicuous and pure. The loss which the church in this place and 
the whole diocese has sustained by his death is irreparable. 
Prompt in the discharge of every dut}-, liberal in his benefac- 
tions, an example to believers in every good word and work, 
consistent in his walk and conversation, reproducing — as far as a 
frail mortal may — the life of Christ, he was invaluable to us in 
his relation to the church, of which he was a member. He was 
not of an excitable temperament, and his religion was not of an 
emotional type, but it was symmetrical, well balanced, genuine 
and earnest. You knew that it could be trusted, and that in any 
emergency his faith would not fail him. His trust in the Lord 
Jesus was absolute and firm. AVhile his doctrinal views were 
generous and broad, they were also clearly defined and scriptural. 
He made no parade of his piety, and talked little of his inward 
experiences ; but he lived the Sermon on the Mount." 

During the late war Mr. Babcock was requested by some of 
our leading citizens to represent his town in the legislature ; to 
which he consented, " provided there should be no political 
squabble about it." He was elected by the unanimous vote of 
all parties. He was the colleague of the writer of this notice. 
He was diffident and unobtrusive, and spoke but little. But his 
views and opinions were always conservative and sound. He 
had great influence in the house, especially in financial affairs. 
Mr. Babcock had no children, but no man in town took a greater 
interest in our schools, and no other man did or perhaps was able 


to do as much for the general education of the people as he did. 
Fifty years ago the state and towns did not appropriate money 
enough to run the common schools the year through. Mr. Bab- 
cock suggested that the schools in the village be continued 
through the year, and the tuition of those whose parents might 
be supposed to feel it inconvenient to pay, he paid by a private 
subscription, himself leading with a very liberal contribution. 
This made the schools practically free, and was continued for 
several years. 

To give a detailed account of all the acts of Mr. Babcock's 
active life would be incompatible with the limits of the work for 
which this sketch is written. But the facts given will enable us 
to grasp the character of the man. Mr. Babcock's mind was not 
distorted by the preternatural development of any one faculty, 
and the consequent deficiency of others. He had a strong mind, 
and it was equally strong in its component parts, in its reasoning 
powers. It was the source of his unerring judgment in his own 
business, and the affairs of the state and the community. In 
short, he had as much of the wisdom derived from the gifts of 
nature as any man in the state. 

Mr. Babcock died in March, 1872, and no man in this or any 
other country has left a more honorable and unsullied record than 
Rowse Babcock. 

The Chapman Fa>hly. — Sumner Chapman was a prosperous 
farmer in the town of Westerly. To his wife, whose family name 
was Herrick, was born five sons: Timothy, Joseph, Sumner, Israel 
and Case, and one daughter, Betsey. Israel Chapman was born 
at Burden's Pond, now known as Chapman's Pond, in Westerly, 
on the 28th of June, 1770, and remained with his parents until 
his twenty-first year, when, having reached his majority, he 
started alone to seek employment in Newport, R. I. Here he 
remained four years, and though not adding materially to his 
worldly possessions, was regularly employed by the month at 
fair wages. For several years he leased farms in Connecticut 
and at Watch Hill, until 1812, when the property now the resi- 
dence of his son, Sumner, was purchased. Here he settled and 
remained until 1840, the date of his removal to the farm owned 
by his son, Harris P. Chapman, where his death occurred in Oc- 
tober, 1852. 

Mr. Chapman was a man of affairs, diligent in business, which 
enabled him to become the largest landholder in his town, and 

Jo^i^iZ^ C'A^^ 

a^t\ e^C"^^ 






influential and public spirited as a citizen, keeping fully abreast 
with all leading questions of the day. He was honored by his 
fellow citizens with many important trusts, being town sergeant, 
tax collector for twenty years, deputy sheriff, sheriff, and judge 
of the court of common pleas. As an evidence of his clear- 
. headedness and vigor of mind, it maybe mentioned that he filled 
the ofi&ce of tax collector after he had attained his eightieth 
year. In politics a Jeffersonian democrat of the most unswerv- 
ing type, his convictions were shaken neither by prejudice nor 
the hope of reward. His judgment, which was sound and almost 
unerring, rendered his opinion invaluable as arbitrator and 
referee in disputed land questions, as well as many controversies 
involving a knowledge of law. 

Mr. Chapman was twice married. His first wife, to whom he 
was united October 20th, 1796, was Mary Kenyon, born February 
5th, 1781, died November 4th, 1810. Their children were: Joshua, 
born January 8th, 1798 ; John, September 30th, 1801 ; Amos, 
February 9th, 1804; Sumner, April 28th, 1806 ; Martha, May 25th, 
1808; and Mary, October 14th, 1810. Mr. Chapman married, 
March 17th, 1811, Nancy Kenyon, sister of his first wife. She 
was born February 25th, 1787. The children of this union were : 
George Nelson, born April 26th, 1812; Israel, February 12th, 
1814 ; Israel, 2d, February 10th, 1816 ; Harris P., August 16th, 
1817 ; Otis P., December 5th, 1820, and a daughter, Ann Eliza- 
beth, whose birth occurred March 17th, 1824. 

Sumner Chapman, was born in Westerly, his life-long residence 
being also the scene of his birth. He began in early youth to 
assist in the cultivation of the farm, not, however, neglecting 
to avail himself of the advantages offered for obtaining a 
thorough common English education. This enabled him to 
transact business with success, and aided greatly in the skillful 
management of the homestead farm, of which he assumed con- 
trol in 1886. He continued a lessee of the property until 1852, 
when, by the death of his father, it became his by inheritance. 

Mr. Chapman was, on the 19th of November, 1837, married to 
Sarah, daughter of Thomas Brightman, of Westerly. Their 
children are : Sumner F., Thomas B., Amos P., Martha A. (Mrs. 
Courtland Chapman), Otis P., Harrii P., James P., Everett J., 
Edgar W. and Edward E. Sumner F. married Sarah Sisson, of 
Westerly. Thomas B. married Bella Brewer, of Hartford. Amos 
P. was first married to Achsah Mayne, of North Stonington, 


Conn., and a second time to Sarah Johnson Brewster, of West- 
erly. The wife of Harris P. was Susan Carpenter, of Westerly. 
James P. married Mary A. Gavitt, of Westerly, and Edgar W. is 
married to Blanche Brockway, of Hadlyme, Conn. Mr. Sumner 
Chapman has been since the casting of his first vote a democrat, 
but not a candidate for office, the excitement and responsibility 
attending public life being little to his taste. He was, however, 
in the days of the militia somewhat prominent as an officer. His 
support is given to the Protestant Episcopal Church. The death 
of Mrs. Chapman occi^rred November 23d, 1886. 

John Chapman, the second son of Israel and Mary Chapman, 
was born in Westerly, where his life was spent in the varied 
labors pertaining to a farmer's career. He in youth devoted 
three months of the year to the elementary branches of study, 
and thus gained a knowledge of mathematics, which enabled him 
to transact business with success. His services were given to his 
father until 1833, when the farm, now the home of Courtland 
Chapman, was bestowed jointly upon Mr. Chapman and his 
brother Palmer by their father. On this farm the remainder of 
his life was spent, cultivating and improving the land, and add- 
ing steadily by industry and judicious care of his accumulations, 
to his possessions. In this he was aided greath' by his brother 
and partner, who resided with him, and with whom the most 
cordial business and social relations existed during his life time. 
Mr. Chapman was in politics a strong democrat, but aside from 
the exercise of his privilege as a voter, never gave time or atten- 
tion to matters of political import. His interests centered in his 
home, and the domain of his farm was to him the center of busi- 
ness life and activity. He was connected by membership with 
the First Baptist church of Westerly. 

Mr. Chapman was married in 1833 to Sarah Fenton, of Hart- 
ford, born in 1801. He was married a second time to Rhoda 
Ann, daughter of Thomas Sisson, of Westerly, whose children 
were Israel and Courtland P. The former, born January 2d, 1839, 
devoted his life to the work of the farm. He in 1864 married 
Harriet E. Stillman, and left one child, a son, AVayland. After a 
brief life of much promise and usefulness he died November 19th, 
1873. John Chapman was a third time married to Louisa Chap- 
man. His death occurred in January, 1877. 

Courtland Pendleton Chapman was born November 15th, 
1841, on the farm which he inherited from his father and uncle in 

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the town of Westerly. The district school afforded him a rudimen- 
tary education, which was supplemented by later advantages in 
Westerly. For several years he remained at home, became famil- 
iar with the work of the farm, and acquired habits of industry, 
which have since made his life one of ceaseless activity. Desiring 
to enjoy a wider experience than the boundaries of the farm af- 
forded, and also to familiarize himself with the resources of the 
great West he started for Nevada, and entered the service of a 
company interested in mining enterprises. Here he remained 
three years with varying success, and on his return was married 
November 19th, 1868, to Martha, daughter of ,Sumner Chapman, 
of the town of Westerly. Their children are: Carrie L., born 
April 27th, 1871 ; John Hobart, April 8th, 1875, and Courtland 
Palmer, October 28th, 1877. 

Since his return from the West Mr. Chapman's time has been 
given almost exclusively to the management of bis estate. A re- 
publican in politics, though not an active man in the party ranks, 
he was actuated by public spirit to enter the town council in 1888. 
Realizing the importance of concerted action with reference to 
the farming interests of his town, he has been a leading spirit in 
the organization of the Westerly Grange, of which he is the pres- 
ent master. His adherence and support are given to the Protes- 
ant Episcopal church, of which Mrs. Chapman is a member. 

Harris P. Chapman was born on the homestead farm in West- 
erly, and when a lad attended private schools held at the various 
homes in the vicinity and in Westerly. He subsequently enjoyed 
additional advantages in Stonington, Conn., where he remained 
two years. The two succeeding winters were spent in teaching, 
after which the farm for a succession of years engaged his atten- 
tion. On the death of his father, and a division of the estate, 
Mr. Chapman came into possession of that portion of the prop- 
erty embracing his present home, where he has since resided and 
cultivated the land which constitutes the farm. To this his life 
has been devoted, to the exclusion of other business projects, per- 
haps more alluring in character but wanting in the stability that 
attaches to the life of an agriculturist. 

He was married July 3d, 1856, to Bridget A., daughter of Jacob 
Kenyon of Westerly. Their children are : Otis H., married to 
Isabella Nash ; Ann Elizabeth, wife of Frederick P. Babcock, 
who has one child, Grace Elizabeth ; Mary F., Martha B., Harris 
P., Jr., Arthur and Israel H. Mr. Chapman adheres to the tradi- 


tions of his family and supports the principles of the democracy, 
though neither town nor county has had offices within its gift 
sufficiently attractive to tempt him from the seclusion of his 
home into the perplexing arena of politics. He is a supporter of 
the Baptist church with which the family worship. Three of his 
sons are at present assisting in the work of the farm. Otis H., 
the eldest, is a mechanic and a resident of Westerly. Frederick P. 
Babcock is also a mechanic. 

Peleg Clarke. — John Clarke, the earliest representative of 
the Clarke family in America, came with Roger Williams from 
the county of Suffolk, England. His son, John Clarke, married 
Catherine Cook. Their son, Thomas Clarke, married Rose Perigo, 
whose son, Joseph, was the father of Joseph Clarke. Reverend 
Thomas Clarke, a son of the latter, was the father of Reverend 
Joseph Clarke, Reverend Joseph Clarke, the great-grandfather 
of the subject of this sketch, was the father of Thomas Clarke, 
whose son, Peleg Clarke, was born in 1794 in Newport, R. I., and 
at the age of twenty-four removed to Hopkinton, and Stonington, 
Conn., later became his home. He married Fanny, daughter of 
Captain Joseph Spicer, a popular landlord of Hopkinton City on 
the line of the New London and Providence turnpike. Their 
children were : Alfred, Peleg, Joseph, Fanny (Mrs. David Lang- 
worthy), Mary (Mrs. Jason P. W. Brown) and George, of whom 
one brother and two sisters survive. 

Peleg Clarke, of Westerly, was born December 25th, 1819, in 
Hopkinton, and in infancy removed to Stonington, his home for 
the succeeding thirteen years. He, until the age of sixteen, de- 
voted the winter months to school and the remainder of the year 
to labor, his father being one of the most extensive farmers in 
the town. In 1835 the young man came to Westerly determined 
to master a trade. He was apprenticed to a carpenter and joiner, 
and such was his aptness at the work in hand that the end of the 
second year found him in charge of a gang of workmen. On com- 
pleting his apprenticeship he began the business of contracting, 
his earliest order being the erection of the first church built by 
white residents in Charlestown. From this date his success as a 
skillful and reliable artisan was established and brought many 
large and important contracts. A great proportion of the build- 
ings, both public and private, in the town are among his achieve- 
ments, including the Stone mill at Potter Hill, built in 1847, the 
White Rock mill and village in 1849, the Dixon House in 1866, 








man}' hotels at Watch Hill, and churches, banks, public schools 
and private residences in the town and vicinity. In 1843 he em- 
barked in the lumber business, erecting for that purpose a plan- 
ing mill and sash and blind factory. Mr. Clarke continued thus 
engaged until 1854, when he removed to Virginia as representa- 
tive of the ^lelville Gold ^Mining Company of New York, and 
continued this relation^five years, meanwhile establishing a lucra- 
tive trade in lumber in Fredericksburg, A'irginia. The years 
1862 and 1863 were spent in Philadelphia, after which he re- 
turned to Westerly, resumed his vocation as a builder, and em- 
barked in profitable speculations. He became identified with the 
interests of Messrs. Babcock & Moss, and also engaged in engi- 
neering and surveying. In 1869 Mr. Clarke was made a director 
of the Pawcatuck Na,tional Bank and a year later its president. 
He was one of the original stockholders, and is a director of the 
Westerly Gas Light Company, and one of the incorporators of 
the River Cemetery. In politics he affiliates with the republican 
party, but has never been an aspirant for office. His business 
ability, accurate methods and integrity have rendered his ser- 
vices much in demand as receiver, administrator and trustee, and 
made his advice invaluable with reference to investments. 

]\Ir. Clarke was in 1839 married to ^lary T., daughter of Rus- 
sell and Elizabeth Clarke of Newport. She died May 9th, 1888. 
Their children are : Mary Estelle (deceased, wife of Henry S. 
Mowry), Maria Arabella (^Mrs. Perry R. Bellinger of Omaha), 
Frances Virginia (Mrs. William S. Briggs of Groton, Conn.) and 
Martha B. (Mrs. William S. Eaton of Westerly). 

Benjamin F. Clark is the grandson of Luke Clark, who culti- 
vated a farm and operated a saw mill in the town of Richmond, in 
Washington county. By his marriage to Sarah Tefft, were born 
ten children : Sally, Luke, John T., Mary, Ruth, Lucinda, Eliza- 
beth, Joshua, Reynolds and Harriet. The birth of John T. Clark 
occurred in Richmond in 1810, and his death in July, 1846, in 
Westerly, where he resided during the latter part of his life. He 
married Susan D., daughter of Benjamin P. Bentley, of Westerly. 
Their only child, a son, Benjamin F., was born September 16th, 
1838, in the above town and having been left fatherless when but 
little more than six yeaj"s of age, with his mother sought a home 
under the roof of his maternal grandfather on the farm which is 
now his property. Such advantages as the neighboring school 
afforded the lad eagerly sought, but finding the demands of the 


farm more imperative than any personal consideration, he soon 
fell into the routine of labor. He displayed so much aptness and 
judgment in his daily duties that at the age of fourteen its man- 
agement was largely relegated to him. 

In his nineteenth year on the 15th of December, 1856, he was 
married to Emily F., daughter of Stephen S. Kenyon, of Hopkin- 
ton. Their children are: Albert F-, Joshua P., Susan E. (Mrs. 
Gurdon Hiscock) John S. and Edwin H. Three of the sons 
are married as follows : Albert F. to Annie L. Langworthy, of 
Hopkinton ; Joshua P. to Mabel V. Lanphear, of Westerly, and 
John S. to Hattie M. Langworthy. Benjamin F. Clark on his 
marriage, together with his mother, leased the farm for a period 
of three years, and at the end of that time, assumed the sole man- 
agement of the property which in 1869 became his by inheri- 
tance from his grandfather. Since that date new buildings have 
been erected, the land enriched, and the estate, which bears in 
its improved condition evidence of the thrift and energy of the 
master spirit at its head, mtich enhanced in value. Mr. Clark has 
been content as a republican to cast his ballot without desiring 
public position. He has served his town with fidelity in the ca- 
pacity of assessor but held no other office, his time being chiefly 
absorbed in the successful management of his own business. In 
religion he adheres to the faith of the Seventh Day Baptists. 

Charles B. Coon is of Scotch extraction. His grandfather 
Caleb Coon, who was a farmer in Hopkinton, married Dorcas 
Barber. Their children were : Elias, Moses B., William, Mary 
(Mrs. Coon), Martha (Mrs. Sanders) and Phebe (Mrs. Larkin). 
Moses B., of this number, was born in the town of Hopkinton 
February 9th, 1801, and died January 20th, 1840. He pursued 
during his brief life the trade of a blacksmith in his native town, 
and married Martha, daughter of Joshua Boss, of Exeter, who 
was born in Richmond May 8th, 1803, and died September 25th, 
1829. Their children were : Ann D. (Mrs. Horace Brightman), 
born September 27th, 1823 ; James Monroe, May 21st, 1826, de- 
ceased ; Charles Barber, April 16th, 1827, and Elias, July 16th, 
1829, deceased. 

Charles Barber Coon is a native of Griswold, Conn., from 
whence he removed in childhood to Hopkinton. On the death of 
his father he found a home with Abiel S. Kenyon, of Richmond, 
having entered into an agreement with his patron by which he 
was to learn the trade of a woolen manufacturer in his mills, and 


^^^^^^'^.^^^ X/ 


receive until twenty-one years of age three months instruction in 
the schools of the neighborhood. He was also for a brief time a 
pupil of the Smithville Seminary. The firm which existed at 
this time as A. S. & E. Kenyon, was changed in 1857, by the re- 
tirement of the senior partner, when the mills became the prop- 
erty of Elijah Kenyon. Mr. Coon made his presence necessary 
to the success of the business, and passed through the various 
stages of advancement, first being made superintendent, then 
manager, and in 1863 admitted to a partnership under the firm 
name of Kenyon & Coon. He resided at Kenyon's Mills in Rich- 
mond until 1879, when Westerly became his home. In 1881 hav- 
ing devoted his life to the successful management of the mills he 
entered when a lad, he retired from business. Mr. Coon is a di- 
rector in the National Niantic Bank, and in the Westerly and 
Watch Hill Ferry Company. He has been somewhat active as a 
republican in the political movements of his county, was elected 
to the state legislature for the years 1877 and 1878, and served 
on the committees on accounts and education. He was also in 
early life prominent in the Odd Fellows fraternity. He is a sup- 
porter of the First Baptist church of Westerly. 

Mr. Coon was on the 20th of August, 1857, married to Miss 
Hattie N. Gardiner, daughter of Henry Gardiner and Mahala 
Briggs, of South Kingstown, and granddaughter of Oliver 

Calvert B. Cottrell, son of Lebbeus Cottrell and Lydia Max- 
son, was bom in Westerly, R. I., August 20th, 1821. In 1840, at the 
age of nineteen, he went to learn the machine business of Messrs. 
Lavalley, Lanphear & Co., of Phenix, R. I., manufacturers of 
cotton machinery, and was employed by them for fifteen years, 
most of the time as a contractor. During this period he made 
many improvements in labor saving tools and machinery, and by 
the careful management of his contracts he was able to save a 
sufficient sum of money to enable him to start in the machine 
business at his. old home in Westerly, R. I., in July, 1855, asso- 
ciating with him Mr. Nathan Babcock, under the firm name of 
Cottrell & Babcock. The new firm commenced the manufacture 
of cotton and wood working machinery, also printing presses, and 
in 1861 began also to manufacture woolen machinery, building 
all the machinery necessary for the production of fancy cassi- 
meres and woolen goods. During the war they made gun ap- 
pendages, supplying largely those used by the Springfield Armory 


and private armories. In the year 1868, when they began to 
make a speciality of printing presses, Mr. Cottrell commenced 
the series of patented improvements which brought the Cottrell 
press immediately to the front. Among the first of these was 
the improvement on the air spring, for reversing the bed, with 
its patent yielding plunger, vacuum valve, and governor attach- 
ment. This invention increasing, as it did, the capacity of the 
printing press for fine as well as fast work, was so far-reaching 
in its effects that it immediately brought Mr. Cottrell to the no- 
tice of the printing and mechanical world as one of the leading 
inventors of the day. At first this revolution was denounced as 
impracticable, but, as it soon received the indorsement of imita- 
tion by those who had opposed it the most, it was finally accepted 
on its merits, and the claims made for it then are no longer dis- 
puted by any one. Mr. Cottrell was the first to apply the tapeless 
delivery to the drum cylinder press, also the first to introduce a 
positive slider motion, hinged roller frames, and numerous other 
improvements, which are covered by more than seventy Ameri- 
can and foreign patents, one of the latest of which is the new 
front sheet delivery for two revolution, stop cylinder and litho- 
graph presses. This invention is deserving of more than passing 
notice, as it marks an era in the progress of the " art preserva- 
tive " more pronounced, even than the introduction of the fly, 
which for generations has been accepted as the only reliable 
method of carrying the printed sheets to the pile table. By means 
of this improvement the printed sheets are delivered at the front 
end of the press, and laid printed side up without the use of a fly, 
strings, or tapes, a result never before accomplished on a print- 
ing press. The Cottrell Rotary Chromatic Press, for printing in 
several colors, is also an invention which stands without a rival, 
being the only press that takes the paper to be printed from a 
roll through a series of type impression cylinders in perfect 
register, cutting and delivering them for removal. This press 
consists of two or more type and impression cylinders, according 
to the number of colors used, operated in pairs, with a separate 
inking apparatus for each pair, and is capable of printing 300,000 
labels in ten hours. 

Mr. Cottrell has led an exceedingly busy life, having always 
had the general management of the business. He disposed of 
the productions of the factory, in addition to which he also 
attended to the minutest details of the development of his me- 



^yty ASR-.tcKC 













chanical ideas, improving the tools for the manufacture of the 
machinery, and carefully scrutinizing the -work in its different 
stages of development. In July, 1880, twenty-five years from 
the beginning of the co-partnership, Mr. Cottrell purchased Mr. 
Babcock's entire interest in the concern, and associated with him 
his three sons, under the firm name of C. B. Cottrell & Sons, since 
which time they have more than doubled the capacity of their 
works, adding the latest and most improved labor saving ma- 
chinery to be found in the market, and building many tools of 
their own design specially adapted to the requirements of their 
own business, until it is safe to say they now have the largest and 
most complete establishment devoted exclusively to the manu- 
facture of stop cylinder, two revolution, drum cylinder and lith- 
ograph presses in the country. The reputation of these presses 
extends not only throughout the United States, but to Canada, 
Mexico, South America and Europe as w^ell. 

Their works, represented in this volume, cover some three 
acres of ground, with a floor space of about 150,000 square feet, 
and a dock frontage of 900 feet. They are admirably located on 
the Pawcatuck river, about five miles from Long Island Sound, 
whence coal, iron and heavy freight can be brought at small cost. 
They are also on the Shore Line railroad, between Boston and 
New York, which makes it a convenient point for shipping in 
any direction. 

Mr. Cottrell was -married May 4th, 1849, to Lydia W. Perkins, 
daughter of Elisha Perkins and Nancy Russell. They have six 
children— Edgar H., Hattie E., Charles P., C. B., Jr., L. Annge- 
nette and Arthur M. In politics Mr. Cottrell was a whig until 
the republican party was organized, in 1856, when he joined that 
party, and has since been one of its staunch supporters. At an 
early age he identified himself with the temperance movement, 
and has been all his life a total abstainer from intoxicating bever- 
ages. He is a man of great force of character, quick perception 
and of a genial disposition, prudent but very liberal toward all 
charitable institutions, a member of the Seventh Day Baptist 
church, and a leading citizen of the community. 

Amos Cross, a merchant in Westerly and judge of the county 
court, was prominent in the business of that town and in that of 
the whole county in the early years of this century. He was born 
at South Kingstown August 12th, 1769, and was educated in the 
local schools there. His father, John Cross, was a tanner and 


ctirrier. The subject of this sketch very early showed talent for 
as well as inclination toward trade. He began to buy and sell 
produce among the farmers, creating his capital from his own 
industry and thrift. Soon after his majority he removed to 
Westerly, whence he could send agricultural products to New 
York and other ports. At the age of thirty he had accumulated 
$1,800 through this trade. 

He married Elizabeth, daughter of Captain Nathaniel Barns of 
Westerly, in 1799. John Hancock Cross and Eliza Cross, wife of 
Doctor John E. Weeden, were their children. As his capital in- 
creased his field of operations extended, and he became a true 
merchant. Riding over eastern Connecticut and southern Rhode 
Island, he contracted for the grains, especially barley, the cheese 
and other products of the farms. This merchandise he shipped 
to New York, Baltimore, Charleston and other ports. He spent 
one winter in Charleston in pursuit of his business. He brought 
back West India goods and other supplies for the country about 
Westerly. But this return trade made but a small part of his 
mercantile operations. 

About the time of the war with England he contracted with 
the United States to furnish gun boats. These vessels were built 
under the superintendence of Captain Oliver H. Perry, afterward 
the hero of Lake Erie. Mr. Cross' credit was such that he bor- 
rowed money from his neighbors at four per cent, and loaned it 
to the United States at six per cent. He was one of the founders 
of the Phenix Bank, being president from its organization in 
1818 until his death. The judges of the county court were ap- 
pointed then, not from the bar, but from among leading citizens. 
Accordingly he was appointed to the first position on the bench. 
In this place he created the same trust and confidence that fol- 
lowed him in all the relations of his life. When his chaise ap- 
peared at the corner of the Kingston street the by-word ran in 
the village " the court has come." In the business of pensions at 
Washington, in the management of town affairs at home, he was 
often employed and always trusted. 

He died December 15th, 1823, in his fifty-fifth year, having ac- 
cumulated a handsome fortune. His opportunities for business 
and for usefulness to his fellow men had only begun. Judge 
Cross was a good example of that type of New England men 
which has contributed so much toward the building of this re- 
public. AVithout capital or the ordinary connections of business, 



he created a business out of his own enterprise. With scanty- 
knowledge of books, he made himself master of the affairs of 
men. Without professional standing, he commanded the- confi- 
dence of bench, bar and the freemen who reared such plain but 
solid judges. Native sagacity that was almost unerring, joined 
to energy and integrity, filled out the measure of his successful 
and honorable career. 

Daniel F. Larkin.— Abel Larkin, a native ni Westerly, mar- 
ried Sarah Foster of the same town. Their children were : Abel, 
Jonathan, Daniel, John, Sarah (Mrs. Gavjtc), and Nancy, who died 
in early womanhood. Daniel Larkin, also born in Westerly, set- 
tled as a farmer in his native town, and married Rhoda, daughter 
of Samuel Sheffield of the same county and town. Their chil- 
dren are : Daniel F., Samuel S., Charles A., Jonathan, George F., 
Elthan P., Stanton, Susan E. (wife of Joseph T. Ross), Sophia 
(married to Joseph C. Crandall), and Jane (wife of William H. 

The eldest of these children, Daniel F. Larkin, was born on the 
10th of June, 1817, and passed his early years in the town of Wes- 
terly, with which the family have for generations been identi- 
fied. Receiving a common school education, he was, on attaining 
a suitable age, apprenticed to the trade of a ship carpenter, which, 
with intervals devoted to other pursuits, he followed until 1860. 
The year 1838 found him in Middlesex county, Va., engaged in 
tie construction of a brig, which was on completion brought 
north. The following year again proved a favorable one for the 
pur-suit of his trade at this point. The winters from 1840 to 1854 
iaclusive were spent in marketing and fish dealing in Savannah, 
Gi., a.-fter which he settled at Watch Hill, resumed his trade, and 
rcDei.ved the appointment as keeper of the Watch Hill light 

Mr. Larkin determined, in 1868, to fill the role of a popular 
landlord, and began the erection of what is now the most im- 
portant summer hotel at Watch Hill, the Larkin House, which 
has since that time been enlarged, greatly improved, and is now 
double the capacity of the original structure. With this house 
and its success his name has been chiefly identified. Mr. Larkin 
in 1376 again transferred his business relations to the South, and 
erected a winter hotel at Palatka, Florida, which he managed 
successfully until its destruction by fire, in 1884, since which time 
his interest has centered at Watch Hill. A republican in his 


political convictions, he has for several years served in the town 
council, and was in 1857 elected to the state legislature, to which 
office he was re-elected for successive terms, and again for the 
year 1873. In 1884 he received the important appointment as 
one of the commissioners to effect a settlement of the questions 
involved in the boundary line between Rhode Island and Con- 

Daniel F. Lai kin was on the 19th of October, 1840, married to 
Martha, daughter of Clark Hiscox, of Westerly. Their children 
are : Frank, married to Jessie Cheesbro ; Daniel W., whose wife 
was Josephine Cary ; Martha J., wife of Amos D. Allen ; and 
Sarah E., wife of F. S. Aldrich. Both Mr. and Mrs. Larkin are 
members of the Seventh Day Baptist church of Westerly. 

AzRO N. Lewis. — John Lewis, the progenitor of the Lewis 
family in Rhode Island, settled in Westerly in 1660. His son, 
Israel, was the father of Israel, born in 1695. Enoch, a son of 
the latter, born in 1720, was the father of Enoch, whose birth 
occurred in 1754. His son, Nathaniel Lewis, the father of the 
subject of this biographical sketch, was born in 1786, and early 
in life removed to western New York, and became a successful 
farmer. He married Hepsibath Chamberlain, daughter of Elias 
Chamberlain, of Vermont. Their children were : William E., 
deceased; Jane E. (Mrs. Closser) ; George B. (a resident of Wood- 
lawn, Cal.) ; Susan A. (Mrs. Norton) ; Percy A., and Azro N. The 
last named and youngest of these children, was born January 
31st, 1842, in Granger, Allegany county, N. Y. His education 
was such as the common schools afforded. At the age of thirteen 
he removed with his parents to Scio, in the same county, and at 
sixteen entered the office of Doctor Sheerar, of Wellsville, a 
neighboring town, with a view of mastering the science of 
dentistry. A year later he continued his studies with Doctor H. 
P. Burdick, of Alfred, N, Y., remained three years under his pre- 
ceptorship, and in 1861 located in Westerly. He immediately 
began the practice of dentistry, in 1864 associating with-him a 
former student. Doctor A. H. Spicer, and has since enjoyed a 
large and lucrative practice. While evincing skill and thorough- 
ness in all departments of the science, they have been especially 
successful in "crowning" and "bridge work," which process 
may be described as the inserting of a single tooth or a full set of 
teeth on the teeth or roots remaining in the mouth, a difficult 
piece of work, requiring both skill and knowledge. He has been 



; <:J^^U4/td'. 



one of the trustees of the Mechanics' Savings Bank since its or- 
ganization, and for several years a director in the Phenix Na- 
tional Bank of Westerly. 

The doctor is strongly republican in his political associations, 
and content to promote the interests of his party without enjoy- 
ing official place as the reward of his fidelity. He is a member of 
the school board of Westerly, and has been for ten years one of 
the engineers of the fire department. He is an active mason, 
member and past master of Pawcatuck Lodge, No. 90, of that 
order, of Palmer Chapter, No. 28, of Westerly, and of Narragan- 
sett Commandery, No. 27, of which he was eminent commander 
from January 13th, 1873, to January 11th, 1875, For a number 
of years he held a commission in the Westerly Rifles, and upon 
the re-organization of the militia was commissioned quarter- 
master of the Third Battalion, and held that position until it was 
consolidated with the First regiment. He fills the office of ves- 
tryman in Christ Episcopal church of Westerly. 

Doctor Lewis was, in 1870, married to Marie Antoinette, 
daughter of Welcome Stillman, of Westerly, who died in 1877. 
Their children are George Welcome and Ralph Stanley, now 
living, and Marie and Mabel, deceased. The doctor in 1882 mar- 
ried Miranda W., daughter of Nicholas Sheldon, of San Fran- 
cisco. They have two sons, Azro N., Jr., and Charles Lux. 

Although a member of one of the oldest firms in Westerly, he 
is still in the prime of life ; and while devoted to the interests of 
his business, he takes an active part in all measures which, in 
his judgment, will promote the welfare of the community in 
which he dwells, while never indifferent to those broader ques- 
tions which affect the welfare of the native state of his 

Jonathan Maxson. — The origin of the Maxson family of 
America has never been definitely ascertained, although it is be- 
lieved upon good authority that the family came from England 
to this country sometime previous to 1688, landing somewhere 
in the Massachusetts colony. The name in England and Scot- 
land was probably originally Maxton or Maxtone, many families 
of that name being now found there, as well as some others who 
spell the name Maxson. It was not an uncommon thing for the 
letter " t " in a name to become changed to " s " or even dropped 

Richard Maxson is the first one of whom there is any record. 


mention first being made of him in the Rhode Island Colonial 
Records of the settlement of the town of Portsmouth, upon the 
island of Rhode Island, then called " Aquidneck," where he is 
shown to have been during the first year of the settlement of 
that town in 1638. His name appears again the succeeding year 
signed with others to the following compact : 

" Aprill the 30th, 1639. 

" We whose names are under written doe acknowledge our- 
selves the legall subjects of his Majestic King Charles and in his 
name doe hereby binde ourselves into a civill body politicke, un- 
der his lawes according to matters of j'ustice." 

The same month, the colony of Newport was established at the 
lower end of the island, the name of Richard Maxson appearing 
among the list of freemen at the settlement of the town. He 
shared in the original division of land, having thirty-six acres al- 
lotted him, the deed of same being recorded on page 54 of Vol. I, 
Land Evidence. By occupation he was a blacksmith. Very lit- 
tle is known concerning him or his wife, who is alluded to as 
" Good wife Maxson, widow of Richard Maxson," in a deed which 
she gave, of a part of the above-mentioned land, two or three 
years later. Family tradition has it that he met his death at the 
hands of the Indians, but the author of this sketch has found no 
authentic information concerning his decease. He had one child, 
a son John, born at Newport in the year 1639. He is said to have 
been the first white child born on the island of Rhode Island. 

John Maxson" was born as stated above in 1639, and died at 
Westerly, R. I., December 17th, 1720. He married Mary, 
daughter of Hugh ]\Ioshier. She M-as born in 1641 at Newport 
and died at Westerly February 2d, 1718. The graves may be 
found in the First Hopkinton cemetery, where they were removed 
a few years since, from their original resting place in the old 
" Clark Burying Ground," situated on the bank of the Pawcatuck, 
about one half mile southward. In 1661 John Maxson with others 
removed from Newport to Westerly. Record of the deed of the 
original allotment of land to him is fou.nd upon the Westerly 
town records. He represented the town in the general assembly 
several terms and also filled many local offices. 

Mr. Maxson was a faithful member of the Seventh Day Bap- 
tist church of Newport (the first church of that sect in this coun- 
try), and retained his membership until the division of the 
church in 1708 and the formation of a separate church by the 


members residing in or near Westerly. He was called to the 
pastorate of this church and served in that capacity until his 
death. In 1716 he proposed to resign his office but his resigna- 
tion was not accepted, the church preferring to appoint assistant 
pastors, to relieve the venerable elder of a part of his work. He 
was called at times previous to this to serve the church at New- 
port in a similar capacity. He was familiarly known as " Elder 
John." Two of his sons, John and Joseph, succeeded him in the 
pastorate of the church. His grandson, John (son of Jonathan) 
was also an elder. From him descended every American family 
bearing the name of Maxson. Four families only of this name, 
not of American origin, have been found at this writing, viz. : 
two of German, one of Bavarian and one of English descent. 
He had the following children : 

I. John', born 1666 at Westerly, died July, 1747, in Westerly, 
married January 19th, 1687, Judith Clarke, daughter of Joseph 
and Bethiah (Hubbard) Clarke. She was born October 12th, 
1667. He was an active and useful citizen and like his father 
was a zealous worker in the church. His property consisted 
mainly of real estate, he purchasing in one lot 2,684 acres. He 
united with the Sabbatarian church of Newport July BOth, 
1692, was ordained deacon of the Westerly church September 
7th, 1712, and called to the pastorate of the same church as 
associate of his father. His family consisted of ten children : 
Judith, Mary, Bethiah, Elizabeth, Hannah, John, Dorithy, Susan, 
Joseph and Avis. 

II. Dorithy', born in Westerly, married Elder Joseph Clarke 
January -Sth, 1692. 

HI. Joseph', born 1672, died September 1750. He married 
Tacy Burdick, daughter of Robert and Ruth (Hubbard) Burdick 
in 1691. She was born in 1666. He, like his father and brother, 
felt that he was called to religious work. He was baptized Jan- 
uary 24th, 1694, united with the church at Newport, was chosen 
to the office of deacon in 1716, ordained as an evangelist October 
8th, 1732, and as a regular minister of the gospel April 24th, 
1739. His children were : Elizabeth, Joseph, John (Captain John), 

IV. Mary', married Daniel Lewis. 

V. Jonathan', born in 1680, at Westerly, died November 20th, 
1732, in Westerly. He married May 1st, 1707, Content Rogers, 
of New London, daughter of Jonathan and Naomi (Burdick) 


Rogers. She was born in 1678, and died in 1777. She afterward 
married (1739) Richard Dake, and again, June 24th, 1766, married 
Timothy Peckham, all of Westerly. He held many public offices, 
called almost each year, from his admission as a freeman, in 1702, 
to his death, in 1732, to fill some position of trust or honor. 

Jonathan' had the following children : 

I. Jonathan* (commonly called the colonel), born January 16th, 
1708, in Westerly. He married Jemima Mumford, January 1st, 

H. Content', born January 28th, 1709, in Westerly, married 
Captain James Babcock, and afterward (1742) married William 

III. Joseph', born January 14th, 1712, died in 1739. 

IV. John' (also called " Elder John, of Newport "), born March 
2d, 1714, in Westerly, died March 2d, 1778, at Newport, R. I., on 
the anniversary of his birth. He married, October 27th, 1736, 
Tacy Rogers, of New London, daughter of Jonathan. His second 
wife was Mrs. Ann McCarty, to whom he was married October 
31st, 1756, and by whom he had no issue. By his first wife he 
had eight children. 

V. Naomi', born May 6th, 1716, died unmarried at Westerly, 
the place of her birth. 

VI. Samuel', called " Saddler Sam," born in Westerly, July 
20th, 1718, died in 1797. He married Ruth Rogers, of New Lon- 
don, daughter of Jonathan, October 13th, 1742. She was the sis- 
ter of his brother John's wife. 

VII. Caleb', born November 21st, 1721, at Westerly, died when 
quite young. 

VIII. Mary', born November 20th, 1723, in Westerly, and died 
in her youth. 

Elder John Maxson', whose birth, marriage and death are re- 
corded above, was a man of much prominence and usefulness in 
the Sabbatarian church at Newport, of which he was the pastor. 
He had eight children, as follows : 

I. Jonathan", born August 24th, 1737, in Westerly ; died July 
31st, 1823, at Newport. He married Lydia Clarke, November 
14th, 1759, by whom he had six children. He married again July 
9th, 1775, Mary Millard, of Freetown, Mass., by whom he had five 

II. Esther', born June 13th, 1739. 

III. Anne', born January 24th, 1741, died May 23d, 1812, mar- 
ried Dr. Joshua Babcock. 


IV. Nathan', born in 1736, died unmarried at Newport. 

V. John', born in 174-, died April 16th, 1822; married July 
19th, 1783, Sally Schreeve, daughter of Daniel. 

VI. Judith', born September 13th, 1749 ; she became the third 
wife of Samuel Marriott, May 21st, 1791. 

VII. Caleb', born November 2d, 1752, in Newport, died April 
6th, 1841, at De Ruyter, N. Y.; married October 20th, 1782, Mary, 
daughter of Elder John Bliss. He afterward married her first 
cousin, Mary, daughter of Henry Bliss, November 1st, 1807. He 
had a family of nine children : Elizabeth Ward, William Bliss, 
Joshua Babcock, John, Content, Mary Bliss, Lukus, Tacy Wells 
and Charles Henry. 

VIII. Content', born in 1754 in Newport, died July 28th, 1818, 

Jonathan Maxson', whose birth is recorded above, had the fol- 
lowing children by his wife, Lydia Clarke : 

I. Tacy, born October 30th, 1764, died November 8th, 1764. 

II. Lydia, born October 30th, 1764, died November 10th, 1764. 

III. Anna, became the second wife of Archibald Taber. 

IV. Mary, married Archibald Taber, a Quaker. 

V. and VI. Twin girls, died young. 

By his second wife, Mary Millard, he had : 

VII. Tacy, married Samuel P. Young. 

VIII. Abby, born November 10th, 1780, at Newport, died April 
26th, 1874, at Westerly, unmarried. 

IX. Jonathan, born July 4th, 1781, at Newport, died January 
22d, 1852, at Westerly, married Nancy, daughter of Captain 
George Potter, March 27th, 1806. 

X. and XI. Twin boys, died young. 

Aside from Abby and Jonathan, very little is known of these 
children. They married and moved to a distant part of the 

Jonathan Maxson" was born in Newport, and removed to the 
town of Westerly with his family, locating at Potter Hill. He 
afterward removed to the village of Westerly, where he resided 
until his death, of small pox, January 22d, 1852. His early life 
was spent in fishing, carpenter work, etc. He entered the firm 
of C. Maxson & Co., in 1845, two years after its formation, and 
continued therein until his decease. In disposition he was kind 
and genial, being loved by all who knew him. His family con- 
sisted of the following children : 


I. George Potter', born July ISth, 1807, at Newport, now living 
at Philadelphia, Penn. He married June 1st, 1828, Hannah 
Bentley, daughter of Benjamin P. Bentley. October 26th, 1843, 
he married Mercia M. Carpenter, and October 25th, 1852, he mar- 
ried Lydia Ann Maxson, daughter of Luke Maxson. By his 
wife Mercia he had two children : Sarah Lavantia, born Novem- 
ber 9th, 1845, died August 14th, 1850, and George Henry, born 
July 15th, 1847, died August 11th, 1850. By his wife Lydia he 
had three children : John, born January, 1857, died June 3d, 
1870 ; Caroline Elizabeth, born October 80th, 1859, and Frederick, 
born June 13th, 1862. 

II. Mary Potter', born February 28th, 1809, at Newport, mar- 
ried Benjamin Wilbur Bentley, son of Benjamin P. Bentley, Jan- 
uary 1st, 1838. Their children were : George Maxson, born 
April 10th, 1839, died June 24th, 1868 ; Benjamin Cortland, born 
May 2d, 1841 ; Hannah Maria, born February 9th, 1845 ; Mary 
Elizabeth, born March 31st, 1850 ; and Emily Fenner, born De- 
cember 31st, 1852. 

III. Deacon William', born May 11th, 1811, at Newport, mar- 
ried September 25th, 1834, Sarah Rogers, daughter of Deacon 
David and Mary (Potter) Rogers. Their children are : Charles 
Alburtus, born March 19th, 1838 ; William Edgar, born October 
12th, 1840 ; Sarah Matilda, born September 27th, 1846, died No- 
vember 11th, 1856 ; Charlotte E., born December 3d, 1843, died 
August 12th, 1877. 

IV. Charles', born September 3d, 1813, at Westerly, of whom 
a sketch is given elsewhere. 

V. Jonathan', born January 26th, 1816, at Westerly, is the sub- 
ject of this sketch. He married Matilda Mandana, daughter of 
Deacon Martin and Matilda Mandana (Stillman) Wilcox, January 
25th, 1844. They had four children, whose names will be found 

VI. Nancy', born September 27th, 1818, at AVesterly, died Oc- 
tober 3d, 1858, at Westerly, unmarried. 

VII. Elizabeth Hannah', born September 19th, 1822, at West- 
erly, died August 25th, 1847, at Westerly, unmarried. 

VIII. Edwin', born May 6th, 1827, at Westerly ; resides at 
Westerly, unmarried. 

Jonathan Maxson', the subject of this sketch, had the following 
children : 

I. Albertus Wilcox', born June 25th, 1846, at Westerly, married 






Isabel Augusta, daughter of Deacon Thomas F. and Caroline 
Matilda (Yarnall) Randolph, of Plainfield, N. J., September 17th, 

1873. Their children are : Clara Louise, born December 31st, 

1874, at Westerly ; Albertus Randolph, born May 30th, 1876, at 
Westerly ; Frank Elwin, born September 8th, 1879, at Westerly. 

II. Henry Martin*, born March 28th, 1852, at Westerly, mar- 
ried December 30th, 1879, Henrietta Louise, daughter of Doctor 
Edwin R. and Louise (Brown) Lewis, of Westerly. They have 
one child, Ruth Potter, born February 10th, 1881. 

III. Jonathan Irving*, born September 22d, 1856, at Westerly, 
married Sarah Yarnall, daughter of Deacon Thomas F. and 
Caroline Matilda (Yarnall) Randolph, of Plainfield, N. J., No- 
vember 1st, 1881. They have two children : Ethel May, born 
January 4th, 1883, at Westerly, and Jonathan Irving, Jr., born 
March 5th, 1888, at Westerly. 

IV. Frank Howard', born June 18th, 1859, at Westerly, died 
October 14th, 1863, at Westerly. 

Jonathan Maxson' was born at Potter Hill in the town of Wes- 
terly, and at the age of two years removed with his parents to 
the village of Westerly. His boyhood was spent at school, and 
later in such pursuits as enabled him to maintain himself — fishing, 
carpenter and farm work in turn keeping him fully occupied. 
From the age of sixteen to twenty, his chosen trade, that of a 
carpenter, was followed, with serious interruptions, however, oc- 
casioned by feeble health, which finally compelled him to choose 
some other vocation requiring less hard manual labor, from which 
he was precluded by an imperfect use of his right arm. Having 
decided upon a more thorough course of education with reference 
to a professional career, he, at the age of twenty obtained from 
his father, for a consideration, the last year of his minority, in 
which he accumulated funds to defray his educational expenses. 
At the age of twenty-one he entered De Ruyter Institute, located 
at De Ruyter, N. Y. His studies were, however, after a few 
months interrupted by ill health, when teaching and other avo- 
cations filled the interval until his return to the academy. Here 
disappointment again awaited him and compelled a return to his 
home, where he was confined for a period of three consecutive 

At the end of this period, which was largely occupied in home 
studies, circumstances finally influenced him to abandon his 
course of study, and to enter in August, 1843, into a co-partner- 


ship witli his brother under 'the firm name of C. Maxson & Co., 
for the transaction of a general building and lumber business. 
They established the first mill in the village equipped with wood 
working machinery (located on the Connecticut side of the river), 
which mill is still occupied by the firm of Maxson & Co., of which 
Mr. Maxson is the senior partner. Here he has up to the present 
time continued in business, though much of the labor and detail 
is transferred to his son, the junior partner. 

Mr. Maxson has ever given his influence and means to the pro- 
motion of all projects having for their end the advancement of 
the public interests. The cause of education, the promotion of 
justice, whether in private or civil station, and the furtherance 
of morality in the community, have each found in him an earnest 
advocate. For many years a resident of the Connecticut side of 
the village of Westerly, he represented the town of Stonington 
in the state legislature in 1865, and at the expiration of that term 
of service, by removal to the Rhode Island side, severed his citi- 
zenship in that state. At an early age he became an uncompro- 
mising advocate of the anti-slavery cause, and is to the present 
time no less outspoken on the question of temperance. With 
others he, in 1849, assisted in organizing the Pawcatuck National 
Bank, of which he was for twenty -five years a director. At the 
age of eighteen Mr. Maxson made a profession of religion, be- 
came a member of the First Hopkinton Seventh Day Baptist 
church and maintained this relation until the formation of the 
Pawcatuck Seventh Day Baptist church in 1840, to which he 
transferred his membership. Of this church he was the first 
clerk, and continued in office for fifteen consecutive years, as also 
for a much longer period a member of its board of trustees. In 
his own denomination he has for more than thirty years held the 
position of a member of the board of managers of the Seventh 
Day Baptist Home and Foreign Missionary Society. 

Charles Maxson' was born at Potter Hill September 3d, 1813, 
and died February 16th, 1881, from the day of his birth until his 
death knowing no other home than his native county. He early 
learned with his father the trade of a carpenter and boat builder. 
In 1843, when still a young man, the firm of C. Maxson & Co. was 
organized, and maintained until his death. Their contracts for 
building extended beyond Westerly to Narragansett Pier, South 
Kingstown and other points, and included the erection of some 
of the most important structures in the country, such as the 

C^^^^t-ttAJ^^^ /^^^t3L4>^r^^^ 



Ocean House, Larkin House and Atlantic House at Watch Hill, 
the Mt. Hope House, Tower Hill Hotel, Hazard House and the 
Maxson House at Narragansett Pier. They also erected many 
churches and public buildings in Rhode Island and Connecticut, 
and were largely engaged in the lumber business. As the prin- 
cipal partner in the firm, and its acknowledged head, Mr. Maxson 
naturally had much to do with the employment of the men who 
labored for the companj^ as well as with parties with whom they 
contracted for work. The varied duties thus imposed upon him 
were performed with such fidelity as to make for him among all 
classes many friends and never an enemy. 

He occupied various stations of public importance, was a mem- 
ber of the general assembly of Rhode Island in 1852, 1853 and 
1854, for some years an officer of the River Bend Cemetery As- 
sociation, chief engineer of the Westerly Fire Department from 
its organization in 1871 until 1874, when he declined re-election, 
and for a considerable period president of the board of trustees 
of the Seventh-Day Baptist church, of which he remained an ex- 
emplary member until his death. He was for many years a director 
in the Washington National Bank of Westerly. Mr. J^Iaxson was 
a strong abolitionist in the days when few had the courage to 
avow their sentiments on that question, and in many substantial 
ways indicated his sympathy with the weak and oppressed, whose 
cause he espoused. He was a man of many-sided characteristics, 
chief among which was his great kindness of heart. This trait 
of character made him keenly sympathetic toward those in dis- 
tress or financial difficulty, and this sympathy frequently found 
expression in timely aid. He possessed great strength of char- 
acter. His mind was clear and his judgment well formed. Ac- 
customed to weigh considerations, when he arrived at a convic- 
tion based upon careful reflection, it was his habit to hold it with 
a firm grip. This strength of mind, joined with kindness of 
heart and gentleness of manner, was transfused by a simple faith 
in God, which illumined and guided his whole life. 

Charles Maxson was married in February, 1841, to Anna Maria, 
daughter of Amos and Lucinda Barber. Their children are : 
Abby M., wife of Fred L. Hickox, and Charles Clarence, who 
married Emma A., daughter of Doctor Albert Utter of Plainfield, 
New Jersey. 

Charles Perry was born in Westerly September 27th, 1809. 
He came of a family distinguished for energy and moral cour- 


age, and which for a number of generations were large land 
owners in the Narragansett country. He is the eldest of three 
brothers and two sisters, the sixth generation from Edward Perry, 
of Sandwich, Mass., who emigrated from Devonshire, England, 
in 1044, and was married, in 1663, to Mary, daughter of Governor 
Freeman of Plymouth colony. This Edward was also the an- 
cestor of Commodores Oliver H. and Matthew C. Perry. 

Thomas Perry, the father of Charles, was born in Charlestown, 
Rhode Island, in 1776. He was greatly interested in matters of 
education, and of his own means built, nea,r his home, a school 
house, in which he taught the youth of his neighborhood. In 1806, 
while engaged in this school, he was summoned to Westerly to 
take the position of cashier of the Washington Bank, made va- 
cant by the death of the first incumbent, Arnold Clark. Thomas 
Perry was a man of liberal mind and genial nature, and was re- 
spected and beloved by his neighbors. He held his place as cashier 
until his death in 1826, when his eldest son, Charles, the subject 
of this sketch, who had already been his assistant for more than 
a year, was chosen to the office. 

This was a position of great responsibility for a youth of six- 
teen, as Charles then was, but his mind was maturerthan his age 
and his education better than might be expected from the limited 
instruction which the village school then afforded. This was no 
doubt largely the result of the home influence, both his father 
and mother encouraging the taste for study which was a marked 
characteristic of their son. He early gave evidence of his liter- 
ary taste as well as of other excellent qualities of mind and of 
character by editing the Bung Town Patriot in 1825. This paper he 
printed with a quill pen, and it was probably the first published 
in the south county. The type for the title, together with the 
cuts for the advertisements, he himself carved from wood. The 
perseverance, the industry and enthusiasm which attended this 
work and made it possible for a mere boy of fifteen years, have 
continued to be marked characteristics of the man. A facsimile 
of the pages of the Btuig Toivn Patriot, as it was printed in 1825, 
is presented in connection with this sketch. 

The board of directors of the bank paid the highest possible 
compliment to Mr. Perry's judgment and discretion by carrying 
out his advice in an important question of policy immediately 
after he assumed the office of cashier. The confidence thus early 
bestowed has always been deservedly retained. The Washington 



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Bank was the third established in the state, and was chartered 
in the year 1800. Its capital, originally $50,000, has been in- 
creased to $150,000, with a surplus of $75,000, and its business 
has expanded correspondingly. Mr. Perry has always been 
thoroughly devoted to the interests of the institution to which he 
has given fifty-five consecutive years of labor as cashier. In 1881, 
in the seventy -second year of his age, he resigned the cashiership 
to his son, and shortly after was chosen to the presidency, made 
vacant by the death of Honorable Nathan F. Dixon, president of 
the bank for nearly forty years, and whose father before him 
had held the same position. The Perry's — father, son and grand- 
son — have been successively cashiers for a period of eighty-three 

Although Mr. Perry's life has been so thoroughly identified 
with the interests of the bank that his name will always be as- 
sociated, in the minds of those who know him best, with that 
institution, it is by no means in that field alone that he has been 
a valuable and influential citizen. Always fond of books, he has 
collected a valuable library and has developed great strength of 
character intellectually and morally. He has manifested a lively 
interest and a ready appreciation of the vital, political and moral 
issues which in the course of so many years have confronted the 
people for settlement, and his voice and influence have been for 
progressive measures. Never desiring political preferment or 
office, his opinions and judgment have for this reason had the 
greater weight and authority. Though of moderately conserva- 
tive nature, he has been liberal and active in moral reforms as 
well as in public improvements. The cause of temperance has 
found in him an earnest advocate, and he received from his 
father that love for education which made him for years a zeal- 
ous worker for better schools in his own town. 

Mr. Perry was a pronounced abolitionist, and had the courage 
of his convictions. The years of his manhood covered the whole 
of the great anti-slavery struggle which resulted in the final over- 
throw of that barbarous institution. His whole nature revolted 
against human slavery, and he earnestly upheld the cause of 
freedom at a time when it cost something to maintain these 
views. The mob violence which prevailed in many parts against 
anti-slavery speakers was not unknown in his experience, and 
his home more than once received and sheltered them from law- 
less abuse. Nor did he stop here, but the friendless fugitive 


slaves found in him one who hesitated not, when occasion de- 
manded, to put the higher law of the common brotherhood of 
man above all human statutes, and to brave the penalties of their 

He exercised also a large hospitality, and those who have en- 
joyed it well know and appreciate the charm of his conversation 
and the fascination of a personality which bespoke both kindliness 
and wisdom. Among his guests was that eminent opponent of 
the slave power, Benjamin Lundy, who was traveling through 
the country on foot on his way from Baltiraore to Vermont to 
see a young man by the name of William Lloyd Garrison. At 
that time Garrison was unknown and Lundy wished to associate 
him with himself as editor of his paper. The Genius of Universal 
Emancipation, in Baltimore. The guest was successful and the 
sequel forms one of the important pages in the history of this 

In religion Charles Perry is and always has been a member of 
the Society of Friends and a firm believer in the original and or- 
thodox principles of that people. When in the seventy-fifth year 
of his age, he wrote a brief but comprehensive exposition of the 
important doctrines of Friends, entitled " True Principles of the 
Society of Friends." 

In 1848 Mr. Perry married Temperance, daughter of Thomas 
and Phebe Foster, of Hopkinton, and a granddaughter of the 
eminent Quaker preacher, John Wilbur. Five children were 
born to them, four of whom are living, two daughters — Mrs. J. 
Barclay Foster, of Westerly, and Mrs. F. C. Buffum, of Stanton, 
Fla. — and two sons — Charles, who has already been referred to as 
succeeding his father as cashier, and Arthur, who is assistant 
cashier in the Washington National Bank, 

James Monroe Pendleton, the youngest son and tenth child 
in a family of twelve children, was born at Pendleton Hill, North 
Stonington, Conn., January 10th, 1822. On the father's side he is 
a descendant of Major Brian Pendleton who, coming from 
the mother country and settling in New England shortly after 
the arrival of the " Mayflower" in 1620, became distinguished as 
a soldier and in the councils of state. General Nathan Pendle- 
ton, the father of James, has left a record of M^hich his posterity 
may well be proud. As a major of militia in the war of 1812 he 
was noted for valor, genius, skill and efficiency. From 1810 to 
1826 he represented North Stonington in the legislature of Con- 


necticut, winning the appellation of an honest and gifted legisla- 
tor. His wife, Phebe Cole Pendleton, was of Scottish extraction 
and a lady of superior talents and refinement. General Pendle- 
ton died October 15th, 1827. Owing to adverse and unavoidable 
occurrences, his affairs had become seriously impaired, so that 
his family was left in limited circumstances. 

James M. lived at home until seventeen years of 'age, attending 
the district school about four months each year, and the remain- 
ing time either working on the farm or in his brother's store. 
Subsequently for a few years he alternately attended school or 
engaged in teaching. Defraying expenses by his own exertions 
he completed his course of study with high honors at the " Con- 
necticut Literary Institution " in 1844. Then presenting his 
mother with his surplus earnings, he went to New York as sales- 
man in a wholesale grocery store for two years. Thence going 
to Westerly, R. I., where he has since resided, he engaged in 
mercantile pursuits, banking, insurance and manufacturing, with 
satisfying success. 

Mr. Pendleton was in 1847 married to Miss Bethena Arabella 
Spencer, of Suffield, Conn., a lady whose talents and refined cul- 
ture command the highest respect and esteem. 

In public affairs Mr. Pendleton has acted an important part, 
earnestly advocating all measures which he conceived conducive 
to 'the good of the community and the country. The cause of 
public education has especially received his hearty support and 
been greatly advanced by his vigorous efforts. From youth he 
has taken a deep interest in political science, easily learning what 
seems so hard for many to comprehend, that the constitution of 
the United States is the expressed will of the people of the United 
States in the aggregate, and not a compact between sovereign 
states. Although holding that article of the constitution which 
tolerated involuntary service within certain limits under its con- 
trol, incompatible with freedom and contrary to the declaration 
of independence, yet he was entirely loyal, even to this provis- 
ion while it was a part of the fundamental law. But when the 
attempt was made to generalize a local institution, a social, moral 
and political evil, and foist it into free territory, he firmly resist- 
ed, co-operating with the lovers of liberty and the Union in or- 
ganizing and supporting the republican party, founded on prin- 
ciples in strict accord with the constitution. When, in conse- 
quence of this party's triumph, fairly won in 1860, the South 


waged war upon the Union, he confidently accepted the issue. 
Early in the struggle he counseled the emancipation and arming 
of the slaves. During the conflict he was president of the Union 
League in Westerly and largely instrumental in enlisting 
soldiers for the defense of the government. 

His industry, ability, rectitude, patriotism and exemplary 
course won from the public the confidence and esteem which is 
justly his due. Expressive of its high appreciation he was elect- 
ed to the state senate of Rhode Island for the years 1862, 1863, 
1864 and 1865. In 1868 he was appointed delegate to the national 
republican convention in Chicago, and the same year was chosen 
a presidential elector. He was elected to the 42d Congress in 
1868, and reelected to the 43d Congress, serving during the first 
session on the committee on printing and revolutionary claims, 
and subsequently on the committee on the revision of laws, one 
of the most important in the house. He was a delegate to the 
republican national convention in 1876, in 1878 elected to the 
Rhode Island House of Representatives, and reelected each suc- 
ceeding year until 1884, being a portion of the time chairman of 
the finance committee. He was one of the originators of the Ni- 
antic Bank, from 1854 for seventeen years its cashier, and is now 
president of both the national and savings banks. He has for 
fifteen years been a member of the board of state charities and 
correction, and a portion of the time its president. He has 31so 
held many important offices in the Masonic fraternity. Mr. Pendle- 
ton united with the First Baptist church of North Stonington in 
1832, and held membership in the First Baptist church in Wes- 
terly from 1847 to 1870, when he became a constituent member 
of Calvary Baptist church of that place, of which he is a liberal 

Having no children, Mr. Pendleton has manifested much liber- 
ality and kindness in the education of his nieces and nephews. 
In 1854 two children of his brother William were taken into his 
family for this purpose, one of whom, James M. Pendleton, be- 
came a lieutenant in the army during the late civil war, and died 
of fever contracted in the service ; the other, whom Mr. Pendle- 
ton considers as his adopted daughter, is now Mrs. William E. 
Hart. In 1865 his brother William having died, two others of 
the children were given a home, one of whom has since died, 
and the other, Charles H. Pendleton, graduated at Brown Uni- 
versity in 1878, and from Rochester Theological Seminary in 



1881, and is now pastor of the Main Street Baptist church in 
Worcester, Mass. Another niece was a member of his family 
for several years, graduated at the high school during the time, 
and is now Mrs. Doctor Eichler, residing at San Diego, Cal. 

Eugene B. Pendleton.— General Nathan Pendleton, the 
grandfather of the subject of this biography, who resided in 
North Stonington, married October 6th, 1803, Phebe Cole, whose 
children were: Nathan S., Charles H., Enoch B., Phebe E., De- 
witt Clinton, William F., Sallie A., Susan A., Nancy M., James 
Monroe, Lydia E. and Katharine K. Enoch B. was born Septem- 
ber 5th, 1808, in North Stonington, where the greater part of his 
life was passed. After a clerkship of several years he embarked 
in business in New York, and in 1847, on becoming a resident of 
Westerly, there engaged in partnership with his brother. On 
the retirement of the latter, in 1854, he formed another business 
connection, and continued thus interested until his appointment 
in 1861, as postmaster of Westerly, in which office he continued 
until the year of his decease. He married October 30th, 1843, 
Mary E., daughter of Andrew Chapman, of North Stonington. 
The children of this marriage are : Mary E., Josephine A., Eugene 
Burrows, Charles H., Harriet (wife of B. D. Hahn), Edwin P., 
Anne C. (deceased), James M., 2d, and Ella F. Charles H., Mrs. 
Hahn, James M., 2d, and Mary E. are residents of Westerly, 
James M., 2d, being a graduate of Brown University, and assist- 
ant cashier of the National Niantic bank. Edwin P. is a grad- 
uate of West Point, and an officer in the regular army. Josephine 
A. resides at Waterbury, Conn. Ella F. graduated at Wellsley 
College, and is a member of its faculty. The death of Mr. Pen- 
dleton occurred on the 11th of November, 1875. 

Eugene Burrows Pendleton was born June 18th, 1849, in West- 
erly, which has been his lifetime home. He was educated in the 
public and private schools of the place, and early developed that 
self-reliance and independence which have been notable char- 
acteristics of his life. Thus in school, when occasion offered, he 
acted as janitor, and performed other duties to assist in defray- 
ing the expenses of his tuition. In later life, when it became 
his duty as well as pleasure to aid in the maintenance of a large 
family, he accepted without hesitation the charge, and shrunk 
from no labor that made lighter the burdens of others. He 
graduated from Schofield's Commercial School, in Providence, and 
in 1866 entered the post office in the capacity of clerk. Contin- 


uing in this relation until 1872, he was appointed assistant post- 
master, bearing much of the responsibility connected with the 
office and its management. 

In 1875 Mr. Pendleton was made postmaster of Westerly, and 
held the appointment until April 1st, 1887. During this period 
many valuable innovations were made, the delivery system pro- 
jected, and under his successor introduced, and the office so con- 
ducted as to win for its incumbent the cordial approval of the 
public. Mr. Pendleton is a trustee of the Niantic Savings Bank, 
and was one of the originators of the Westerly Business Men's 
Association, the prosperity of which he did much to advance. 
He is prominent in the Masonic fraternity, as member of Frank- 
lin Lodge No. 20, Palmer Chapter No. 28, and Narragansett Com- 
mandery No. 27, all of Westerly. 

In 1866 he joined the Westerly Rifles, was assiduous in his 
efforts to promote the recruiting service of the company, and 
rose in rank until he was, in 1884, chosen captain of one of the 
companies. Largely through his instrumentality a state appro- 
priation was obtained in 1877, by which the armory of the or- 
ganization was remodelled and enlarged. In 1888 he was ap- 
pointed aide-de-camp on the staff of Governor Taft. In 1866 
Mr. Pendleton joined the First Baptist church of Westerly, and 
is now a regular attendant upon the services of Calvary Baptist 
church, of which he has been one of the most zealous supporters, 
and is secretary and treasurer of its Sunday school, as also the 
church treasurer. 

Thomas Wells Potter. — Nathaniel Potter, on his emigration 
from England to America, settled in Portsmouth, R. I., where his 
death occurred before 1644. His second son, Ichabod, married 
Martha, daughter of Thomas Hazard, and died in 1676. Their 
son, Thomas, was born about the year 1663, and married Susanna 
Tripp, whose son Thomas, born in 1692 in South Kingstown, mar- 
ried Mary Babcock. George, a son by this union, born in 1782, 
married Content Maxson. They were the parents of Joseph 
Potter, born February 6th, 1759, and married to Phebe Wells, 
whose children were : Thomas W., born January 26th, 1785; Jo- 
seph, Jr., in 1787; Colonel Henry, in 1790; Robert T., in 1794, 
and William, in 1800. 

The birth of Thomas W., the subject of this biography, oc- 
curred at Potter Hill, in the town of Westerly, where he pursued 
his studies with reference to a career as a merchant. At the age 




of sixteen, having this purpose in view, he embarked for New 
York, and had fairly established himself in business when the 
feeble health of his father recalled him to his side. This un- 
looked-for event materially changed the course of his life, and 
transformed the embryo New York merchant into the represent- 
ative citizen in a more circumscribed sphere at Potter Hill. In 
the historical portion of this work will be found an account of 
the rise and progress of the business interests at Potter Hill, 
which are inseparably connected with the Potter family, and 
need not be reverted to in detail here. Joseph Potter was an 
enterprising and progressive man. He was merchant, miller and 
manufacturer, and the owner of vessels engaged in trade in the 
West Indies and on the Spanish coast. Much of this business 
was shared with his sons, under the firm name of Joseph Potter 
& Sons, and in 1814 was disposed of and conducted under the 
name of Thomas W. and Joseph Potter. The latter firm in turn 
sold their manufacturing interest, which had been greatly in. 
creased and the mills enlarged, and in 1843 retired from active 

Thomas W. Potter was influential and active as a citizen. 
With keen business insight and a progressive spirit, the benefit 
resulting from the measures he instituted and which his brother 
successfully carried to completion, extended far beyond the 
limits of his native hamlet. In 1815 he served in the state legis- 
lature as a representative of the old line whig party. He was 
one of the incorporators of the Phenix Bank, though often 
prevented by feeble health from taking part in its deliberations. 
He was regarded as a man of mature judgment, whose opinion 
was respected, whether in the weighty matters of commercial 
life, or the more perplexing questions which affect civil and 
social polity. In religion he adhered to the creed of the Seventh 
Day Baptist church. 

Mr. Potter married Mary, daughter of Lebbeus Cottrell, who 
was captured by the French during the French and English war 
and taken to the island of Martinique, where he died. The chil- 
dren of this marriage are : Maria Louisa, born March 15th, 1815 ; 
Harriet, born October 1st, 1816, who died November 25th, 1886 ; 
and Thomas and Ann Eliza, who died in childhood. Miss Maria 
Louisa, the only survivor, resides on the homestead. Mr. Potter's 
death occurred at his home on Potter Hill, July 10th, 1854. 


Joseph H. Potter was born at Potter Hill, R. I., October 20th, 
1823. He is a son of Robert T. and Mary Palmer Potter, and a 
grandson of Joseph Potter. Robert T. Potter was associated with 
his father Joseph Potter, Sr., and his brothers, Thoraas, Joseph, 
Jr., Henry and William, in the cotton and woolen manufacturing 
business at Potter Hill. He died at the age of thirty-four years. 
He and his wife were worthy members of the First Hopkinton 
Seventh Day Baptist church. He was spoken of by his family 
and friends as a noble Christian man, beloved and respected by 
all who knew him. 

His son and only child, Joseph H. Potter, was four years of age 
at his father's death. At the age of thirteen he was sent to the 
Bacon Academy, Colchester, Conn., this school being considered 
the best at the time in the vicinity. He afterward entered the 
cotton and woolen mills at Potter Hill and learned the business 
of manufacturing. At the age of eighteen he came to Westerly 
as a pupil at the school kept by Mr. Solomon Carpenter and wife 
in the old academy on Union street, and the following, year while 
at this school, was called upon to take part in the suppression of 
the " Dorr Rebellion." Later he learned the machinist's trade 
with the firm of J. P. Stillman & Co., at Westerly, serving three 
years with them as an apprentice. During this time the Potter 
Hill mills having been sold to E. & H. Babcock & Co., including 
the interest left to him by his father, he decided not to follow the 
cotton or woolen business, and arranged with three other Wes- 
terly gentlemen to start a foundry, under the firm name of Lang- 
worthy, Potter & Co. They accordingly built in ]846 what is 
now known as the " Old Iron Foundry," located on the west side 
of the river and owned by C. B. Cottrell & Sons. The first work 
done was the manufacture of stoves and ploughs, Mr. Potter be- 
ing the agent for abotit two years, when he sold his interest to 
other parties. 

In 1847 Mr. Potter was married to Rhoda Ann Langworthy, 
daughter of Robert and Lois (Sisson) Langworthy, of Hopkinton, 
born December 5th, 1825. 

In 1850 he bought half the interest in the drug business of 
Henry W. Stillman, and four years after the remaining interest. 
On the 1st of July, 1855, he admitted Mr. E. G. Champlin as a 
partner and built a drug store on Main street, said at the time to 
have been the most complete in the county. Here they carried 
on a large drug and patent medicine business, sending a team 

r^s^'^ ^^-^^^^ 



through different parts of the county to supply country stores, 
and having a branch store at Mystic Bridge, Conn. He sold his 
part of the business at Westerly in 1864 to E. G. Champlin & Co., 
and Mr. J. Denison Spicer having purchased Mr. E. G. Champ- 
lin's interest in the Mystic store, that business was continued un- 
der the firm name of Potter & Spicer. Soon after Mr. Potter 
started another store at Stonington, Conn., in company with Mr. 
B. F. Palmer under the firm name of J. H. Potter & Co. Wish- 
ing a business nearer his home, he sold his interest in the Mystic 
store in 1866 and in the Stonington store in 1867. 

Mr. Potter with others built what is now the Hammond estate 
property on High street near Canal, and commenced the ready- 
made clothing business in the south store. Five years after, he 
having built the new part of the Hammond Block, removed to 
the middle store. This business he sold to Mr. H. L. Miner in 
1883, having been in the drug business seventeen years and the 
clothing business fourteen years. 

On the 4th of March, 1880, occurred the death of Mr. Potter's 
uncle, Joseph Potter, at Potter Hill, R. I., at about ninety-three 
years of age ; his wife and children having died some years be- 
fore. He was one of the leading members of the First Hopkin- 
ton church, a man of well-known integrity and sterling character. 
His counsel and advice were sought on many occasions. For 
nearly half a century he was a director in the Phenix National 
Bank of Westerly. He represented his town in the legislature 
several times and was appointed judge of the court but declined 
the office. By his will J. H. Potter, his nephew, was appointed 
his executor, and in examining his papers found a captain's com- 
mission from Governor Jones, of Rhode Island, dated May 9th, 
1814 (during the war of 1812), also an order from the adjutant- 
general, directing Captain Potter to collect his company and im- 
mediately march to Lottery Village, there to meet, expel and de- 
stroy the enemy ; the object being to prevent the British from 
sending a force up the Pawcatuck river, as the British fleet under 
Commodore Hardy lay off Stonington, preparing to bombard the 
town. , 

Joseph H. Potter has been a director in the Washington Na- 
tional Bank and a trustee in the Westerly Savings Bank for about 
thirty years. He and his wife in early life connected themselves 
with the First Hopkinton church. After permanently settling 
at Westerly, they united with the Seventh Day Baptist church of 


that village. Of their three children two are deceased, Alice 
and Henry R., leaving Mr. Potter and one daughter as the sur- 
viving members of the family. The death of Mrs. Potter oc- 
curred February 21st, 1885. 

William D. Potter. — The progenitor of the family of Wil- 
liam D. Potter was Nathaniel Potter, born in England, who had 
two sons, Nathaniel and Ichabod, both natives of Portsmouth, R. 
I. John, the son of Ichabod Potter, was born in 1665, died in 1715. 
He married Sarah Wilson, whose children were five daughters 
and two sons. Colonel John and Samuel. The former son mar- 
ried Mercy Robinson. Among their children was John, born in 
North Kingstown in 1715, who married Mary Perry. Their only 
son, John, whose birth occurred in 1737, married Mary Niles, 
whose son, John, born in 1767, resided during his lifetime in 
South Kingstown. He married Mary Seager, whose children 
were : Alice S., William J. and Mary. William J., whose birth 
occurred May 4th, 1794, in South Kingstown, learned in youth 
the trade of a tanner and currier, though much of his life was 
devoted to farming. He married Alice Segar, daughter of Esquire 
John Segar, whose birth occurred in 1802, and her death in 1885. 
Their children were : John S., William J., Williara D., Elizabeth 
S., Jeremiah, Frances S., Susan P. and Mary Abby. 

William D. Potter was born on the 1st of August, 1824, in South 
Kingstown, and was educated at the district school near his home, 
where he gave three months of the year when not otherwise em- 
ployed, to the study of the English branches. His father having 
died when the lad was btit ten years of age, he was entirely de- 
pendent upon his own industry for a livelihood, and much of the 
year sought employment on farms in the neighborhood. On re- 
moving, at the age of twenty-one, to Watch Hill, he, in company 
with a brother, leased the place now owned by him, and remained 
for three years as a tenant. He afterward rented other farms in 
the vicinity, until 1858, when he again became the lessee of his 
present home for a term of nine years, and finally its purchaser. 
His attention was chiefly given to the cultivation of this farm 
until 1887, when his son assumed its management. Mr. Potter 
has supported the democratic party in politics, but held no official 
relations with either town or county, his attention being given 
chiefly to his own business concerns. He is a supporter of the 
Baptist church, of which his wife is a member. 

He was married February 13th, 1850, to Sarah J., daughter of 







James York, of Westerly. Their children are : Atwood M. (de- 
ceased); Francis J. (deceased), William J. and Elbert S. William 
J. cultivates the farm. 

Thomas Wanton Segar. — Joseph Segar, the great-grandfather 
of Thomas W. Segar, was born September 26th, 1723, and became 
the father of eleven children, of whom Thomas, whose birth oc- 
curred July 6th, 1759, married Rebecca Browning, born March 
13th, 1762. Their children were : Thomas, Jr., Amy, Waite, Wil- 
liam B., Joseph, Mary and Benjamin T. Thomas, of this num- 
ber, born September 1st, 1786, died September 19th, 1856. He 
married Rebecca, daughter of Richard Ward, of South Kings- 
town, a descendant of Governor Ward, of Rhode Island. Their 
children are : Thomas W., Sarah A. (Mrs. Robert C. Peckham), 
George W., William B., Lucinda (Mrs. Albert Lyman), Elizabeth 
(Mrs. Nelson Bailey), Warren D. and Antoinette (Mrs. Calvin 

Thomas W. Segar was born April 20th, 1812, in South Kings- 
town, and at an early age removed with his parents to Lebanon, 
Conn., his home until the years of manhood were attained. Like 
other lads of the neighborhood his limited education was received 
at the common school at times when the work of the farm per- 
mitted a respite from labor. He also found employment in a saw 
mill until twenty-four years of age, when, determining to begin 
life on his own account, he embarked in the business of a peddler, 
his field of operation being the territory embraced in Washing- 
ton county. Seven years he continued this lucrative employment, 
meanwhile establishing an extensive trade, and by fair dealing 
winning the confidence and respect of his patrons. Desiring a 
more permanent settlement than this itinerant life afforded, he, 
in 1843, removed to Westerly, where he has since resided, and 
long been identified with its development and progress. Here, 
in connection with George N. Crandall, he opened a grocery and 
dry goods store, continued this business relation for three years, 
and then formed a copartnership with Samuel B. Segar, which, 
under the firm name of T. W. Segar & Co., was maintained for 
twenty-one years. His son, William Segar, meanwhile became 
his partner, and with his father built up a large wholesale and 
retail grocery trade, which was continued until 1885. 

The same year he disposed of a growing coal trade, previously 
established, his son Henry becoming the purchaser. For the first 
time since early manhood he enjoyed the opportunity for well 


earned rest by retirement from active commercial life. Thomas 
W. Segar began his career with no advantageous aids to success, 
and by his own inherent force and energy subdued obstacles and 
achieved prosperity. The most important interests of Westerly 
have been fostered and encouraged under his watchful eye. 
He has been since its organization, in 18.54, a director of the 
National Niantic Bank of that place, and is now its vice-president. 
He is also a director of the Niantic vSavings Bank. He has been 
a foremost representative of the democratic party, both in state 
and county, was in 1880 a delegate to the national democratic 
convention, and has been frequently nominated to high office, 
though representing a party much of the time in the minority in 
his state. In 1878 he was the candidate for state treasurer, the 
following year for governor, in 1881 was the party choice for 
lieutenant-governor, and in 1884 was renominated for governor, 
each time receiving a flattering vote from his constituents. He 
is a supporter of the Calvary Baptist church, of which Mrs. Segar 
is a member. 

Mr. Segar was, February 5th, 1844, married to Elizabeth T., 
daughter of Honorable William T. Browning, of vSouth Kings- 
town. Their cliildren are : Thomas B., William and James. 
Mrs. Segar's death occurred August 2d, 1849, and on the 16th of 
February, 1852, he married his present wife, who was Jane C. 
Bradford, daughter of Charles Bradford of Westerly. Their chil- 
dren are: Elizabeth T., wife of George R. Coy; Katharine B., 
married to Andrew C. Fuller; Charles B., Henry R., Fannie L., 
Albertus B. and Earnest. All, with the exception of James and 
Fannie L., are living. 

Orlando Smith* was born in February, 1814, in Ledyard, 
Conn. He was the son of Captain Schubael and Sarah (Ray- 
mond) Smith. His ancestors were people of character and good 
position, in New London county, Conn., which shows that he had 
good blood in his veins ; by no means a despisable item in any 
man's constitution. He was educated in the local schools of the 
neighborhood. He was distinguished in his youth at school for 
his scholarship, particularly in mathematics, and his commenda- 
ble deportment. He learned the stone mason's trade, and went 
west on a reconnoitering expedition ; but fortunately for the 
towns of Westerly and Stonington, decided, as he had learned 
the stone mason's trade, to come where there was no lack of 

*By John E. Weeden, M.D. 





stone, on which to exercise his skill. He removed to Westerly 
in 1839, and went into the building business. But the most 
fortunate year of his life was 1845. In that year he discovered 
the now famous Smith quarry ; and married one of the most 
estimable ladies this world has ever seen. Miss Emeline Gallup, 
daughter of Isaac Gallup, a man well known and highly respected 
throughout Eastern Connecticut. She was the incarnation of 
every excellence and every virtue that could adorn the character 
of a noble woman. I knew this lady, and I knew her husband. 
I was their family physician for many years. I could truly say 
there were but few women as well worthy of such a husband, 
and still fewer men as well worthy of such a wife. Mr. Smith 
died in May, 1859, and Mrs. Smith in December, 1886. The 
death of no two people in Westerly was ever more generally or 
more sincerely lamented, and especially by the employees of the 
Smith quarry. 

It will be seen that Mr. Smith had only fourteen years to dis- 
cover and develop one of the great and leading industries of 
Westerly, which bears and will perpetuate his honored name. 
The business which he introduced was, by reason of the high 
prices which the labor employed in it always commands, well 
calculated to improve the condition and advance the self respect 
of the laboring man. If any one doubts this let him go through 
this flourishing village and inquire who otvn these attractive and 
well finished houses, and he will find not, as is the case with 
many other classes of business, the owners, but the employees of 
the Smith quarry. Mr. and Mrs. Smith were members of the 
Congregational church. They manifested their faith, not by 
loud talking at the corners of the streets, but by their truly 
Christian characters. No man ever lived in Westerly whose 
benevolence was so universally felt and acknowledged as Orlando 
Smith's. He loved his neighbors better than himself. It is not 
easy to estimate the influence on the young men of his time of 
such a character ; especially of one so conspicuous as the organ- 
izer of a great industry. The loss of so good a man is always 
to be lamented. But in this case it would have been less if he 
could have lived to see more of the results of his labors im- 
mediately as those results began to appear. For as the wand of 
the prophet of olden time struck the water from the rock, so this 
man, with his magical hammer, literally struck the prosperity of 
Westerly from its granite rocks. Surely if the state of Rhode 


Island is to have a history, he belongs in it. But he left a " son 
succeeding." Mr. and Mrs. vSmith left four children: Orlando 
R., Sarah Almira (now Mrs. Otis P. Chapman), Julia Emeline and 
Isaac Gallup. 

Orlando R. Smith, the oldest son, was born June 1st, 1851, in 
Westerly, and was educated at the grammar and high schools 
of the town, where he acquired the cultivated taste which sub- 
sequently displayed itself in his chosen pursuit. He entered 
upon the business of the Smith quarry at the early age of 
eighteen, and soon mastered the work in all its details. When 
the industry was enlarged and reorganized as the Smith Granite 
Company he became its president. Under his administration the 
works have not only been extended, but have become distin- 
guished for the production of fine granite, and especially monu- 
mental work. While I am writing, two very large, expensive, and 
beautiful specimens of artistic skill are being shipped to Cali- 
fornia from these works. Mr. Smith has also become a public 
benefactor in another direction ; having established a chartered 
company to run a permanent line of steamboats from Westerly 
to Watch Hill ; thus promoting the health and pleasure of the 
people. Mr. Smith inheriting the amiable and genial traits of 
his father's character, has become decidedly the most popular 
man in Westerly. At the last state election he was by acclama- 
tion chosen a representative of the town in the legislature. He 
married Sarah A. P., daughter of William Chapman, of West- 
erly, who died in September, 1874, leaving one child, since de- 
ceased. In December, 1876, he married Julia, sister of his first 
wife. They have five children. He is an influential member of 
the Christian church of Westerly. 

Isaac Gallup Sahth, the youngest son of Orlando and Eme- 
line Gallup Smith, was a young man of unusual promise, but 
■died too early to fully develop his abilities or become generally 
known to the community. He was a very sincere and devoted 
member of the Congregational church. He was another illustra- 
tion of a beautiful old proverb that has been handed down to us 
through the ages, " Those whom the gods love die young." The 
following was extracted from an address delivered at his funeral 
by Reverend A. H. Wilcox, a very competent and reliable 
.authority : 

" It will long be the privilege of those who knew Isaac Smith 
to remember that in him were united certain qualities of mind 



and heart, which, had life and health been spared, would have 
enabled him to fill a wide sphere of usefulness. Perfect integrity, 
sound and independent judgment, great tenacity of purpose were 
his by inheritance. He was, too, identified, almost from child- 
hood, with a business which, to say the least, has contributed as 
much as any other to the prosperity of Westerly. Thus, by 
natural endowment and by inherited position, he would have 
been able to exercise a wide-spread and powerful influence." 

Thomas V. Stillman. — William Stillman, the grandfather of 
the subject of this biography, was born May 4th, 1767, in West- 
erly. His son, Jonathan P. Stillman, also a native of Westerly, 
was born in 1798. The birth of Thomas V. Stillman, a son of 
the latter, occurred August 13th, 1828, in Connecticut.- William 
Stillman began the manufacture of clocks and gold and silver- 
ware in the village of Westerly as early as 1793, and continued in 
the business until 1809,when he engaged in the building of cotton 
machinery of which he was the inventor. He was the father of 
eight sons, all of whom were machinists. His sons, Jonathan P. 
and Amos, erected the shop located on the west end of the 
Pawcatuck bridge, and began at this point the manufacture of 
woolen and other machinery, being succeeded, in 1876, by the 
firm of T. V. & V. C. Stillman. The works are now employed in 
the manufacture of paper cutters, a demand for which is found 
in all parts of the United States, Mexico, South America and 

Thomas V. Stillman, the senior member of the firm, married, 
September 17th, 1855, Sarah Elizabeth, daughter of Deacon 
Joseph R. Vincent of Westerly. They had two daughters, Har- 
riet Elizabeth and Alice Leonora, both of whom are deceased. 
Mr. Stillman is in his political associations a republican. He was 
for the term of 1866-67 a member of the Rhode Island legisla- 
ture, has been for three years in the town council, trustee of his 
school district, and for twenty-eight years sealer of weights and 
measures. He is a Mason of high standing, has been master of 
Franklin Lodge and eminent commander of Narragansett Com- 
mandery. Both he and Mrs. Stillman are members of the 
Seventh Day Baptist church. 

Thomas Vincent. — William Vincent came to America from 
Amesbury, Wiltshire, England, about 1660, and settled in Provi- 
dence. He married Priscilla Carpenter and had three children. 
Their son Nicholas married Elizabeth Reynolds and located in 


Westerly as early as 1724. A son William by the latter union 
(one of ten children), married Zeruiah Rtidd, to whom were 
born ten children. Joseph, one of the sons by this union, mar- 
ried Phalla Hinckley and settle in Stonington, Conn. Thomas 
Hinckley, one of their five children, born March 14th, 1811, died 
December 26th, 1864, resided first in Pawcatuck and later in 
Westerly. He married Lydia Chesebrough Bradford, daughter 
of Alexander and Lois (Pendleton) Bradford. She was born April 
6th, 1800, and died December 26th, 1864. 

The birth of their only son Thomas occurred April 7th, 1837, 
at Pawcatuck, in the town of Stonington, Conn., from whence he 
in 1838 removed to Westerly, since that date his residence. He 
was educated in the schools of that place until prepared for an 
advanced course, when he entered Alfred University, located at 
Alfred Centre, N. Y., and gained much proficiency in the aca- 
demic branches of study. He was afterward engaged in teach- 
ing, in which avocation he was successful to a more than ordin- 
ary degree. This work being not altogether to his liking, he 
sought a business engagement and was for several years employed 
as bookkeeper, and in other clerical pursuits. In 1876 Mr. Vin- 
cent was elected trial justice of the justice court of Westerly, an 
office the duties of which he continued to discharge with gener- 
al satisfaction for nearly six years. In May, 1882, he accepted 
the position of treasurer and secretary of the Niantic Savings 
Bank and still holds that responsible office. In private and pub- 
lic station, he has given proof of ability, diligence and good 
sense, united with those moral qualities that distinguish an up- 
right life. Mr. Vincent is a member of Christ Protestant Epis- 
copal church. 

He has attained distinction in the order of Masonry, is a mem- 
ber and past master of Franklin Lodge, No. 20, member and past 
high priest of Palmer Chapter, No. 28, and member of Narra- 
gansett Commandery, No. 27. Being elected master of Franklin 
Lodge, made him a member of the Most Worshipful Grand 
Lodge of the state of Rhode Island, in which, after holding sev- 
eral subordinate offices, he was on May 16th, 1881, elected grand 
master in Rhode Island and held that office two years. Upon 
retiring from the office of grand master he was appointed a 
member of the committee on grand officers' reports to the Grand 
Lodge. He still retains his love for and interest in Freemasonry 
and is as ever, active in promoting the welfare of the fraternity. 









^s^^fssSE^*' ^y^^^^H 











■^"^ " ^^s^-- 




Wager Weeden was born on Conanicut Island in June, 1783. 
He was the son of John and Mercy Weeden. The early indica- 
tions he gave of more than ordinary ability determined his 
parents to give him a liberal education ; but owing to the death 
of his father the intention was given up, and he received only 
an imperfect common school education. At the early age of 
twenty-one he represented his native town in the general as- 
sembly. He married Sarah Hull, daughter of Edward Hull, 
one of the largest landholders in the state, and a member of 
the convention that ratified the constitution of the United 
States. Wager Weeden removed to South Kingstown, and was, 
during most of his life, a practical farmer, which gave a very 
limited scope to his mental training. He was, however, selected 
for some important public offices, which he filled to the satis- 
faction of his constituents. Before the adoption of the state 
constitution of Rhode Island the judges of the courts were not, 
as at present, from the lawyers, but from the most competent 
unprofessional citizens. He served as judge of the Washington 
county court for many years. He was also a member of the 
state senate, which then consisted of twelve senators chosen by 
the people at large, and had the same powers as the house of rep- 
resentatives, both constituting the legislature. This arrangement 
was older than the constitution of the United States. He was 
a " Jeffersonian republican," and no weight of historical au- 
thority could make him believe that George Washington was a 
federalist. He was one of the presidential electors in 1840, 
when General Harrison was elected. The other electors were 
Nicholas Brown, Christopher Rhodes and Governor Engs, mak- 
ing a board which for personal character and high standing 
could not be exceeded in this state or any other. It will be 
seen from this sketch that Wager Weeden owed his position 
neither to wealth nor educational culture, but to his own indi- 
viduality — to his sterling honesty and fidelity in every act of 
his life. He was the respected adviser and counselor of all his 
neighbors in their trials and difficulties. He died in January, 

John E. Weeden was born in South Kingstown, October 
7th, 1807. He was the eldest of Wager and Sarah Weeden's 
children. He was sent to the Latin school at Kingston, and 
afterward to Plainfield Academy, Connecticut. After complet- 
ing his studies he was appointed tutor in the academy. He next 


went to study medicine with Doctor John Spence, of Maryland, 
and to fit his son for college. He afterward studied with Doctor 
William Turner, of Newport, and attended lectures and gradu- 
ated at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. He 
practiced medicine about fifteen years in Westerly, where he 
married Eliza Cross, only daughter of Judge Amos and Elizabeth 
Cross. Having engaged in the manufacturing business to an ex- 
tent that required all his time, he relinquished his profession and 
devoted himself to that business. He was elected to represent 
Westerly in the legislature by the unanimous vote of both po- 
litical parties, and served without material opposition a dozen 
years. He took a leading part in the debates and business of the 
house of representatives. He was chairman of the finance com- 
mittee, and devoting his whole time to the cause of the Union 
during the war of the rebellion, he materially aided in bringing 
the financial resources of the state into efficient service in the 
defense of the government. The west had the most muscle, but 
Rhode Island had the most ready money. Artillery companies 
(the most expensive arm of the service) were most needed. 
Rhode Island early in the war sent more artillery companies into 
the field than the United States had when the war began. 

After 1870 he devoted his whole time to the manufacturing 
business. He built up in a comparative wilderness a flourishing 
village of four or five hundred people. His mills were at Nian- 
tic, where Ninegret, the chief of the Niantics, was executed. 
The mills contained eight sets of machinery, one hundred looms, 
and turned out over a million yards of flannel yearly. 

VyfPresWn S C^tO' 


Edwin Milner.— John Milner, the father of Edwin Milner, 
married Charlotte Dews, to whom were born four children: 
Edwin, Hannah, wife of Christopher Richardson, of Newark, 
N. J. ; Sarah, deceased ; and John H., of Moosup, who married 
Mary Fidler. Edwin, the eldest of these children, was born in 
Horbury, Yorkshire, England, December 1st, 1842, and in his 
fourth year emigrated with his parents to America, landing in 
Boston, from whence they soon after removed to East Green- 
wich, R. I., and resided in that borough until 1854. In 1856 
Westerly, in the same state, became the home of the family, 
where at the age of nine years the lad entered a woolen mill, 
and in due course of time became familiar with the process of 
manufacturing woolen goods. In his nineteenth year an inter- 
val was spent at school, and a thorough knowledge of the Eng- 
lish branches obtained, after which the business of his life — that 
of a woolen manufacturer — was resumed. In 1863 he was em- 
ployed by the Pequot Manufacturing Company at Montville, 
Conn., and in 1865 removed to Old Lyme, Conn., where, under the 
firm name of John Milner & Son, he embarked in manufacturing. 
Returning again to Westerly, Mr. Milner engaged with his 
father in the purchase and sale of wool, and in 1874, on form- 
ing a copartnership with D. L. Aldrich, he began the manufac- 
ture of woolen goods at Plainville, Richmond SM'itch, R. I. This 
property was sold in 1880, and the firm became owners of the 
mills at Moosup, to which point he removed the following year. 
To this enterprise Mr. Milner has since given his attention, and 
by his thorough knowledge of details, brought the mills to a 
high state of excellence in their productions. Three hundred 
hands are employed in the various departments, and the woolen 
fabrics manufactured find a ready market in New York city. 

The subject of this biography has been and is still actively in- 
terested in the political movements of the day, and a prominent 
figure in the ranks of the republican party. His services have 
been given to the cause of Protection as opposed to Free Trade, 
in which, it is his belief, lies the salvation of American indus- 
tries. He represented his town in the Connecticut house of 
representatives in 1887, and served as chairman of the commit- 
tee on state prisons. He is an earnest advocate of all measures 
for the encouragement of education, and a member of the school 
committee of Moosup. He is connected by membership with 


Christ Protestant Episcopal church of Westerly. Mr. Milner 
was, on the 17th of April, 1867, married to Sarah M., daughter 
of Darius Harding, of Old Lyme, Conn. Their two children are 
both deceased, their son Edwin having died in his eleventh 



Description. — Population. — Noted Places. — Eichatd Smith's Block House. — The 
Updikes. — The Big Grave. — Early Settlement and Early Settlers. — List of 
Freemen. — The Erection of the Town. — Early Pastimes. — Negro 'Lections. — 
Town Clerks. — Town Officers. — Land Titles. — The Villages, their Industries, 
etc. — The Town Farm. — Murders. — Elm Grove Cemetery. — Schools. — First 
Baptist Church, Allenton. — Quidnessett Baptist Church, North Kingstown. 
— Six Principle Baptist Church. — Other Churches. 

NORTH KINGSTOWN is a large, wealthy and flourishing 
township, bounded on the north by Warwick and East 
Greenwich, on the west by Exeter, on the south by South 
Kingstown and on the east by Narragansett bay. Its average 
length is about eight miles and its average width about seven 
miles, comprising about fifty-six square miles. The face of the 
country is uneven. The soil is of a sandy loam in the northern 
section, favorable to the culture of grain, while the southern sec- 
tion is of a gravelly loam and affords an excellent grazing country. 
Ship building was extensively carried on in early times in near- 
ly every part of the town. The population of the town at various 
dates has been : In 1708, 1,200 ; 
2,109 ; 1774, 2,472 ; 1776, 2,761 ; 
2,794; 1810, 2,957; 1820, 3,007; 
2,971 ; 1860, 3,104 ; 1865, 3,166 : 
3,949; 1885, 3,804. 

Amos Perry, in his census report of 1885, carefully enumerates 
the places of interest in this town as follows : 

Villages. — Wickford, formerly Updike's Newtown. In 1808 it 
was a port of entry under the direction of William Ellery, collec- 
tor of Newport. Lafayette ; Hamilton, formerly Bissell's Mills ; 
Davisville ; Bellville ; Wickford Junction, formerly Caesar's Plain ; 
Allenton; Annaquatucket, formerly Esbon Sanford's; West 
Wickford, formerly Collation Corner ; East Lafayette ; Narra- 
gansett or Joe Sanford's ; Sandy Hill Mills ; Shady Lea ; Silver 


2,105 ; 





2,328 ; 





3,036 ; 





3,568 ; 





vSpring ; Scrabbletown ; Slocumville ; South Wickford ; Saun- 
derstown, formerly Willettville ; Oak Hill ; Peirce's Mills ; Sher- 
mantown ; Swamptown ; Wickford Landing. 

Corners. — Allen's ; Hendrick's ; Huling's ; Indian. 

Hamlets. — Nichols' ; Pendar's ; Rome's ; Smith's ; Bellville 

Hills. — McSparran ; Kitt's ; Barber's Heights ; Sand ; Phillips'; 
Brown's; Ridge; Spink; Walmesley's ; Wolf; Gould; Mount. 

Rivers. — Annaquatucket ; Hunt's or Mattatuxet ; Petaquam- 

Points. — Allen's ; Calf Pasture ; Ferry ; Greene's ; Phillips'; 
Plum Beach ; Pojack or Muskechug ; Poplar Tree ; Quonset or 
Seconiganset ; Rome ; Smith's ; Spink's ; Stillhouse ; Pendar's. 

Pow^j.— Annaquatucket Mill ; North Bellville Mill ; South Bell- 
ville ; Brush ; Davisville Mill ; Dealing ; Kettle Hole ; Lafay- 
ette ; Carr's (Paussuchuco) ; Peirce's Mill ; Pettaquamscutt Upper 
or Bass ; Pettaquamscutt Lower ; Potowomut ; Rome's ; Scrabble- 
town ; Sand Hill. 

Reservoirs. — Annaquatucket ; Hamilton ; Narragansett ; Oak 
Hill ; Silver Spring Upper ; Silver Spring Lower. 

Harbors. — Wickford or Cawcumsquissick ; Allen's ; Bissell's ; 
Duck or Greene's ; Spink's ; Wickford Bay. 

Ledges. — Ferry ; Rome Point ; Willett. 

Rocks. — Devil's Foot ; Brother's ; Old Sergeant ; Patt ; Spindle ; 
Black ; Clump ; Dyer's ; Rolling ; Deborah ; Hall's. 

Woods. — Austin's ; Cedar Grove ; Davis'; Hazard's ; Huguenot 
Grove ; Pine or Plain ; Rome ; Sherman. 

Parks. — Allen's or Quidnessett ; Willett Farm. 

Swamps. — Allen's ; Cedar ; Cat or Kenyon ; Fones'; Greene's ; 
Pine ; Rocky ; Smith's ; Spink's. 

Islands. — Fox or Sowonexet ; Cornelius ; Goose. 

Brooks. — Carr's ; Cat Swamp ; Cawcumsquissick or Stony (called 
also Cocumscuissic) ; Cole's ; Congdon's ; Davis" Mill ; Great 
Meadow ; Fones'; Greene's ; Hall's ; Not-a-Brook ; Packard's ; 
Phillip (called also Shewotuck) ; Rome's ; Shermantown ; Slo- 
cum's ; Willett's. 

Springs. — Canonicus ; Elizabeth ; Whaley or Taylor's ; Kettle 
Hole ; Silver ; Cold ; Great ; Cedar. 

Historic. — Richard Smith's Block House, 1641 ; Roger Williams' 
Trading House, built 1648 and sold to R. Smith 1651 ; . Gilbert 
Stuart's Birthplace, December 3d, 1755, and near it Hammond 


Mill, orig-inally built for a smiff mill, but run for over one hun- 
dred years as a grist mill ; Boston Neck, called Namcook ; Ham- 
oganset or Kesikomick ; North Ferry ; Quidnessett ; Great Grave; 
Site of St. Paul's church, 1707, removed to Wickford 1800 ; Mc- 
Sparran Monument; the Hummocks; Plum Beach. 

" In the Willett Papers mention is made of the residence of 
Miantinomo, and the impression is clearly given that this chief 
resided on Boston Neck, at the head of Pettaquamscutt river, on 
the east side. The same papers indicate that Canonicus resided 
on the plain opposite the trading house of Roger Williams." 

The building of Richard Smith's block house is the first step 
recorded in the settlement of this town. The first notice of a 
town in this region is the appointment by the council of Con- 
necticut July 10th, 1663, of selectmen and other town officers, 
and the order was to be called " Wickforde." This order was 
issued two days after the signing of the King Charles II. charter, 
and no action was taken for its execution. The town was incor- 
porated under the name of " King's Towne," October 28th, 1674, 
as the seventh town in the colony, with an area of 178.5 square 
miles, which territory now belongs to North Kingstown, South 
Kingstown and Exeter. 

Roger Williams had a trading house in North Kingstown 
called Narragansett. He was here between the years 1648 and 
1651, and from this place he wrote a score or more of letters. 

Captain Richard Smith built what has long been designated as 
the " Old Castle," within one-half mile of the village of Wickford. 
This, in 1639, was erected for the farm house of Captain Smith, 
and here the good Roger Williams, who also fled from persecu- 
tion, often visited. The brave and just old Canonicus and also 
Miantinomo frequently visited Smith. This castle was built by 
Smith as a trading post or house, and as a protection against the 
troublesome Indians. It was fifty feet square, two stories high, 
and its walls were of rough stone, two feet in thickness. It was 
used as a garrison and fortification during the Indian war, and 
it was there that Captain Benjamin Church assembled his forces 
before marching to the great swamp fight, and after his victory, 
with the dead and wounded, burying some forty-two of the slain 
in one grave. 

In the year 1664 Gilbert Updike, of New Amsterdam, married 
Smith's daughter, and then fitted up the castle in English style 
by covering it with wood work (inside and out) for a permanent 


dwelling. And it has remained until the present day, ex- 
cept occasional covering and repairing on the outside. It was 
retained in the Updike family until the fourth generation. In 
1878 it passed into the hands of General Walter R. Chapin. This 
house was burned down in the Indian war but was rebuilt again 
and used as a garrison until the Great Swamp Fight. 

Mr. Smith did in 1664. His grave is yet unmarked, save by a 
common stone with the letters " R. S. died 1664." Richard 
v'^mith, Jr., was a major in the service of Cromwell. He died in 
1692. His sister married Gilbert Updike, who came from Long 
Island in 1664, and settled on the old homestead at the head of 
the cove. Gilbert had three sons, Lodowick, Daniel and James. 
Daniel and James were both killed at the swamp fight, and with 
forty others were brought home and buried in one common grave. 
Lodowick Updike alone survived his father. He died in 1737, 
leaving two sons, Daniel and Richard. Daniel was the king's 
attorney, and left a son by the name of Lodowick, who was born 
in 1725 and died in 1804 in the old mansion that still stands upon 
the foundation walls of the old trading house and garrison of 
long ago. Lodowick also left sons and daughters, many of whom 
lived to a good old age. 

The scenes in and around the old mansion have been changed 
since the days of the last Lodowick Updike. In the interior of 
the mansion, most of the large, square rooms are yet retained in 
their primitive style. 

The Great Swamp Fight of December 19th, 1675, decided the 
fate of King Phillips' war and the life of New England. In that 
fight the colonists lost six captains, one lieutenant and over two 
hundred soldiers. Deacon A. B. Chadsey, speaking of the slain 
on this battlefield, says : " The dead bodies of 42 white men, slain 
by the Narragansetts in the Great Swamp Fight of Dec. 19, 1675, 
were transported from the scene of slaughter in South Kings- 
town in carts to the Block house (a garrison house) of Major 
Richard Smith in North Kingstown, one mile north of Wickford, 
and buried in the garden of Major Smith, near the house, in one 
grave near a large rock on which a few letters have been chiseled 
to preserve the identity of the BIG GRAVE. The block house, 
erected by Richard Smith about the year 1640, has been well pre- 
served by timely repairs, and still remains the ' first English 
house ' erected in the thicket of the Narragansett country." 

Once an apple tree grew upon the grave, but it was blown 


down in the September gale of 1815. The present lettered 
boulder serves as the only monument to the soldiers here sleep- 
ing together. 

That the settlement of Smith was the third in the colony and 
about the year 1639, is forcibly demonstrated in a letter of Roger 
Williams dated July 24th, 1679, in which he says: "Richard 
Smith, Sen., who for his conscience to God left fair possessions 
in Gloucestershire and adventured with his relations and estate 
to New England, and was a most acceptable inhabitant and 
prime leading man in Taunton in Plymouth Colon3^ For his 
conscience sak (many differences arising) he left Taunton and 
came to the Narragansett country, where by God's mercy and 
favor of the Narragansett sachems he broke the ice (at his great 
charge and hazard), and put up in the thickest of the barbarians 
the first English house among them. I humbly testify that about 
forty years (prior to this date) he kept possession, coming and 
going, himself children and servants, and had quiet possession of 
his houses, lands and meadow ; and there in his own house, with 
much serenity of soul and comfort, he yielded up his spirit to 
God the father of spirits in peace." 

In 1639, three years after Roger Williams settled at Provi- 
dence, Richard Smith established his trading post and com- 
menced a settlement at the head of what is known as Point 
Wharf Cove. The materials for the first English dwelling here 
were shipped from Taunton in boats. Here Smith continued to 
live and carry on his traffic with the Indians successfully. Soon 
afterward Roger Williams and Mr. Wilcox moved into the coun- 
try and settled near Smith, his trading house being near where 
Royal Vaughn last lived, the next house north of " Spink's Inn." 
Mr. Williams in 1651 sold out to Smith his trading house, his two 
big guns, and the small island (Rabbit island) for goats. 

In 1659 Randall Holden and Samuel Gorton made an important 
purchase of land in North Kingstown, consisting of Fox Island 
and the neck of land between Wickford and Annaquatucket 
river. This was afterward sold to Richard Smith. A little later 
and during this same year Humphrey Atherton, in company 
with others, bought land in Quidnessett and that part of Boston 
Neck which had not already been sold to Smith. Mr. Atherton 
came from Plymouth colony. 

The assembly in 1671, foreseeing dangers arising from landed 
proprietors establishing a monopoly, ordered " that persons 


owning large tracts of land in Narragansett should sell it out to 
persons in want of it." From this time the land began to be 
divided up into smaller parcels, and settlements became more 
numerous. The general court, in 1677, had ordered a survey of 
the Narragansett country, and found that the whole of Boston 
Neck was owned by Humphrey Atherton, John Winthrop, gov- 
ernor of Connecticut ; Richard Smith, Sr., and Richard Smith, 
Jr., of Cocumscussuc, traders ; Lieutenant William Hudson and 
Amos Richardson, of Boston ; and John Tinker, of Nashaway, 
trader. Mr. Richardson was a native of vStonington. His will 
was proved in 1683. His grandson, Amos, fell heir to his farm 
on the east side of Pawcatuck river, and to his sons Stephen and 
Samuel he gave his other lands. 

Jonathan, son and administrator of Mr. Atherton, sold all 
Atherton's share in the Boston Neck purchase, being about 
seven hundred acres on the point adjoining Pettaquamscutt 
harbor, to Richard Smith, July 23d, 1673, for £50. In 1676 Jona- 
than Atherton sold to John Saffin and Thomas Dean all his own 
Narragansett rights, and as administrator on his brother, Increase 
Atherton's estate, sold his lands, being one twenty-second part, 
also to John Saffin. In 1679 this John Saffin was " tried before 
the Rhode Island Court of Tryals " for the offense of adhering 
to foreign jurisdiction, and sentenced to forfeit all his real and 
personal estate and pay a fine. Richard Smith was indicted for 
the same offense at the same time, but the indictment was quashed 
for informality. 

The Atherton purchase was made in direct violation of a law 
of Rhode Island, and gave rise to a succession of difficulties. 
The question of jurisdiction over the Narragansett country had 
not yet been determined, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Con- 
necticut each contending for it, but when allowed to choose for 
themselves every member of the Atherton Company declared 
in favor of Connecticut. 

Major Atherton had been much employed in the negotiations 
between the Indians and the English, and had made use of the 
influence he thus acquired to make purchases for himself. These 
purchases were made in contravention of an express law of the 
colony, and therefore the government did not consider them 
valid, but treated him and his company as intruders. Roger 
Williams informed Major Atherton that his purchases were con- 
trary to law, and refused all his offers of land or to engage him 


to assist and interpret for him. Major Atherton was employed 
as superintendent of the praying Indians from 1658 to 1661, and 
was employed for keeping courts amongst them in divers places 
and instructing them in their civil conversation. 

The northeastern part of North Kingstown, known as the old 
Quidnessett territory, was formerly a prominent part of the 
town. In early times it supported two saw mills and one or two 
grist mills. The latter are still in operation. Considerable trade 
was carried on from Greene's, George and Allen's harbor, with 
Providence, Newport and other points. The '■ Sea Flower " and 
" Two Brothers," carried on quite a trade from the forge mill 
and anchor works. These vessels were supplanted eventually 
by the " Emily Ann " and " Lucy Ann." 

This country, the Quidnessett, is about six miles long and 
three broad. It was called by the natives Aquitawaset. It is 
bounded on the north by the Potowomut river, on the west by 
the Pequot path or old Post road, south by Wickford harbor and 
east by Narragansett bay. The block house built by Smith was 
in the extreme southwest corner of the Quidnessett territory. 
By the marriage of Smith's daughter into the Updike family 
this estate by will was given by her father, Richard Smith, Sen.; 
it took that name and so continued until it went by purchase 
into the hands of Captain Joseph Congdon in 1813. 

Roger Williams and one Wilcox built trading houses about a 
mile north — near " Devil's Footprint " — seven or eight years 
afterward, and carried on business from 1646 to 1651. It was 
Judge Sherman's opinion that Canonicus and Miantinomo re- 
sided near by, opposite, on Fones' purchase, within twenty or 
thirty rods of the " Devil's Footprint," in a northerly direction. 

June 11th, 1659, the Indian sachem Coquinoquant, of the Nar- 
ragansett country, made a deed of gift of this country to Major 
Atherton and his associates, and the next year to several citizens 
of Newport, Portsmouth, Providence and Warwick, who had 
come on and purchased farms on the bay and the Potowomut 
river, extending over half of the Quidnessett territory. Thomas 
and John Gould, John Sulls, Henry Fowler, Robert Carr, Thomas 
Hart, Francis Brinley, Walter Couningreve, Thomas Nichols 
and sons, Henry Tibbetts, Samuel Waite, Nicholas Spink, Cap- 
tain John Cranston, Robert Wescott, John Sanford, Edward 
Thurston, John Greene and son, and Valentine Wightman were 
among the first settlers ; and soon after, John Eldred, William 


Dyre, Arthur Aylesworth, John Allen and Henry Reynolds set- 
tled on the southern part of this territory. John Greene and son 
owned more acres than any others for several years. John 
Cranston was governor two years and died in office. John 
Greene was deputy-governor ten years. Governor William 
Greene and Governor Ward also owned lands in Quidnessett. 

John Fones (one of the freemen of Kingstown) and five others 
bought of Awashuwett, chief sachem of Qushesett, in Narragan- 
sett (in Quidnessett), a tract of land there. With the title of 
captain, he was a member of a court martial at Newport for trial 
of Indians charged with being engaged in King Phillip's de- 
signs. It was voted at this trial August 24th, 1676, that certain 
ones were guilty and they were sentenced to be shot. The north 
line of the Fones' purchase commenced at a rock on the river, 
above Hunt's Bridge, on the Post road running straight north to 
a river running into the Muskachuge Cove. Then the line fol- 
lowed the road easterly to the Potowomut river as high as salt 
water. From Thomas Hill's house it ran partly in a south- 
westerly direction straight to John Andrew's house on the Post 
road, then to " Devil's Foot " rocks. 

The proprietors of the northern part of Quidnessett made a di- 
vision of their lands in 1666. John Greene and son fell heirs to 
a tract of one hundred and fifty-one acres. The cove now called 
Allen's harbor in 1666 was laid out to John Sanford. It was af- 
terward sold to John Greene, and previous to 1800 had been pur- 
chased from Greene's descendants by the Aliens, in which latter 
family nearly all of it is now owned. 

In the year 1671, the general assembly held its May session at 

In January, 1673-2, John Greene, John Fones, Henry Tibbetts, 
John Andrews, John Briggs and Thomas Waterman bought of 
the Indians a large tract since known as the " Devil's Foot or 
Fones' purchase." All these proprietors were residents of Quid- 
nessett except John Fones, who lived three miles west in Narra- 

In March, 1681-2, Daniel Greene conveyed one hundred and 
twenty acres bordering on Allen's harbor to his son, James 
Greene, the farm now owned by Mr. Joseph Allen. This family 
are descendants from William Allen, who came from Wales in 
1660 to Prudence Island, where he lived and died. His son John 
came to Quidnessett and bought the homestead in 1702. Thomas, 


Christopher, Silas, James and John are in lineal descent. John 

Greene married Joan , and she is known to have been the 

mother of Daniel and James, and probably of John, Edward and 
Benjamin. Not far from the brook, between the highway and the 
dwelling house of Mr. Joseph Allen, a cellar of an old dwelling 
can be found, which was probably occupied by this Daniel and his 
son Daniel, and certainly by his grandson John. James Greene, a 
very early settler of North Kingstown, is spoken of as living in 
Richard Smith's house. In 1663 he and others declared for the 
Rhode Island government. 

Beriah Brown was also a resident as early as 1687. In 1703 he 
was one of the number appointed to lay out the roads of North 
Kingstown. In 1709 he was one of five persons who received a 
grant of 792 acres of land in this town. Alexander Brown, his 
eldest son, a resident of the homestead farm, died in 1758. 

Stephen Northup took the oath of allegiance May 19th, 1671. 
In 1726 he had trouble with Elisha Cole about a mill dam (see 
sketch by Mr. Peirce). At that time there was no other mill 
within some miles of this place. 

John Cole was a settler in North Kingstown in 1663. He was 
the son of Isaac, who came to America in 1634 with his father 
and mother in the ship " Hercules." His father settled at 
Charlestown, Mass., and from thence John went to Boston. In 
1651, December 30th, he married Susannah Hutchinson, daughter 
of William and Ann (Marbury) Hutchinson. In 1663 he came 
to North Kingstown. In 1668 he and other inhabitants petitioned 
the Connecticut authorities to reassume their government, for if 
not the petitioners might look for government elsewhere, and 
two years later acquainted the Rhode Island governor and coun- 
cil that he had not yet taken an engagement to any office under 
Connecticut, but did not know how soon he might do so. For 
this and other statements made he was delivered over to the ser- 
geant till the next court meeting, and was to find bail for ;^20 to 
answer for contempt. He was one of the petitioners to the king 
in 1679 to put an end to the disturbances between Rhode Island 
and Connecticut. In 1682 he was made conservator of the peace. 
His son William married Ann Finder, of North Kingstown, and 
their son, Elisha Cole, was the one who had the difficulty with 
Stephen Northup in 1726 about a mill dam. 

Ann Hutchinson, after being banished from Massachusetts, 
came to Rhode Island. From thence she went with the family 


to East Chester, N. Y., where they were all killed by the Indians 
except one daughter, Susannah, who was redeemed, and afterward 
married John Cole. She lived to a great age. 

William Hutchinson came over from England in 1634, and died 
in Newport in 1642. His daughter Susannah afterward married 
Nathaniel Coddington, of Newport. John Cole died in 1706-7. 
Elisha Cole, a son of John Cole, married Elizabeth Dexter in 
1713. He died in 1728 in London, where he had gone to attend 
a law suit. His children were : Judge John Cole, born in 1715, 
married Mary, only daughter of Daniel Updike, and died about 
1777 (He left a son, Edward, and a daughter, Elizabeth, who 
married Ichabod Wade) ; Thomas, born in 1720 ; Colonel Edward 
Cole, who served in the war of 1763, and died in Nova Scotia ; 
Susannah, Elizabeth and Abigail. Several of the Cole family 
were zealous supporters of the English church, and are distin- 
guished in its early records. They were large proprietors of 
lands in the Boston Neck, a little south of Wickford. 

John Cole, the eldest son of Elisha Cole, obtained a good early 
education and a competent knowledge of the Latin and Greek 
languages under a private tutor. He studied law in the office of 
Daniel Updike, the attorney general of the colony, married his 
only daughter Mary, and commenced practice in Providence. His 
talents soon acquired for him a large share of business through- 
out the colony. He was elected an associate judge of the supreme 
court in 1763, and the succeeding year was promoted to the chair 
of chief justice. The stamp act began to agitate the colonies in 
1765, to which measure of the home government Judge Cole was 
sternly opposed. He resigned his position on the bench in the 
spring of 1766, and entered the legislature as a representative 
from Providence. He was one of the committee, with Stephen 
Hopkins and others, to draft instructions from Providence re- 
specting the stamp act. Their report declared that the contem- 
plated measure of taxation was unconstitutional and had a mani- 
fest tendency to destroy British as well as American liberty. 
Mr. Cole was a representative through the stormy period of 1776, 
and in 1767 was elected speaker of the house. 

On the commencement of hostilities in 1775 the legislature 
erected a vice-admiralty court, and Mr. Cole was appointed advo- 
cate general, which office he sustained during life. In advanced 
life he was induced to enter the hospital at North Providence for 
inoculation for small pox, a disease particularly prevalent at this 

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ment which had been so fatal to the prosperity of the place. 
This petition was dated July 29th, 1679. 

Gabriel Bernon became a resident of North Kingstown. He 
was a Huguenot, a Protestant merchant of an ancient family of 
Rochelle, France. He was the son of Andre Bernon and Susanne 
Guillomard. His zeal in the Protestant cause had rendered him 
obnoxious to the authorities for some time previous to the re- 
vocation of the edict of Nantes, and he was two years im- 
prisoned. There exists in the family a small edition of the 
Psalms, which tradition states was printed in a minute form to 
enable the persecuted owners the more readily to secrete them 
in their bosoms when surprised at their simple devotions. Gabriel 
Bernon left his native city and took refuge in England to avoid 
the persecutions of St. Bartholomew. In those days bigotry 
reigned and mercy had veiled her face ; and as the Catholics 
propagated the maxims that faith need not be kept with heretics, 
and to massacre them was just, pious and useful to salvation, the 
choice of three great evils thus fell to the poor heretics — expatria- 
tion, death or recantation, worse than a thousand deaths. In 
leaving France Gabriel Bernon left brothers and everything 
that could render life desirable. But all these sacrifices he 
counted naught in comparison to liberty of conscience. He re- 
mained some time in England. He was there in 1687. He came 
to America soon after and to Providence in 1698, and thence re- 
moved into the Narragansett country, where the ruins of his 
house still exist. He purchased several tracts of land in North 
Kingstown, was elected one of the vestrymen of St. Paul's in 
1718, and in the succeeding year returned to Providence. Mr. 
Bernon died at Providence February 1st, 1736, in the ninety- 
second year of his age. He was a gentleman by birth and 
estate, and for the cause of true religion fled into New England, 
where he continued a zealous Protestant. He was courteous, 
honest and kind, and died in great faith and hope in his Re- 
deemer, and assurance of salvation. 

The above will serve to show to the descendants of the Hugue- 
nots in this western world the perplexities and embarrassments 
of those who willingly abandoned' the luxuries and refinements 
of the old world to flee to the shores of an inhospitable wilder- 
ness for the purpose of worshipping God according to the dic- 
tates of their consciences. 

The Phillips family first settled around ^Yickford. Samuel 


Phillips, it is said, emigrated from Exeter, England, and was 
among the first who settled in the Narragansett country. He 
died in 1736, aged eighty-one years. His widow Elizabeth after- 
ward married Colonel Thomas, and died in 1748. The children 
of Samuel Phillips were : Thomas, Charles, Samuel and Mary. 
Thomas, the eldest, died in 1722, in Exeter. His son Samuel 
died in 1748, leaving two children, Thomas and Mary. Mary 
married first her cousin Charles Phillips, and second Henry Wall, 
sheriff, etc. Among the children of Charles Phillips was Charles, 
who in 1749 married his cousin ^Vlary, died in 1757, leaving : Ma- 
jor Samuel, Charles, William, Peter and daughters. 

Samuel, the third child of Samuel Phillips, married Abigail 
Brown and was the father of several children. Hon. Peter Phil- 
lips, of North Kingstown, who was a member of the convention 
to form the state constitution, was a son of his. He was born in 
1781 and died in 1807. The daughter, Mary Phillips, married 
John Dickinson in 1818. 

Major Samuel, son of Charles Phillips, was born near Wickford 
December 20th, 1749, and died August 10th, 1808. He was four 
times married. In early life he became an active whig in the 
revolutionary controvers3^ In August, 1776, he was commis- 
sioned by John Hancock, president of the United Colonies, as 
captain of the sixth company of the First regiment of the brigade 
raised by this state, which was taken into continental pay and 
constituted part of the American army. On the 22d of January, 

1777, he was again commissioned by Governor Cooke (the origi- 
nal commissions signed by Hancock and Cooke now remain in 
the family) captain of a coinpany of state infantry in Colonel 
Stanton's regiment. In 1777 Captain Phillips was a volunteer 
and commanded one of the five boats in the expedition led by 
Colonel Barton for the capture of General Prescott. He was cap- 
tain of a company in Sullivan's expedition in Rhode Island in 

1778. The next year he entered the naval service as lieuten- 
ant, and as an individual strove hard and suffered much to gain 
the independence of our country. At the close of the war he re- 
turned to his home in North Kingstown, where he remained in 
charge of his farm until the breaking out of the rupture with 
France, when he was again commissioned as lieutenant by Pres- 
ident Adams, and entered the service. After the treaty with 
France he settled on his farm near AVickford, where he died Au- 
gust 10th, 1808. 


Peter Phillips was the son of Christopher and grandson of Sam- 
uel Phillips. He was born in North Kingstown in 1731. In the 
revolution he was an inflexible whig, and rendered important 
service to his country during the war. He represented his native 
town in the general assembly, and subsequently in 1775, was pro- 
moted to the senate, and in May he was elected commissary of 
the Army of Observation, a body of fifteen hundred men raised 
by the state, of which Nathaniel Greene was elected brigadier- 
general. Mr. Phillips was re-elected state senator for the years 
1776, 1777, 1778 and 1779. In 1780 the legislature appointed him 
one of the judges of the supreme court of the state, a position 
which he held for five consecutive years. In 1785 Mr. Phillips 
was elected by the people a delegate to represent Rhode Island 
in the Confederated Congress, but did not take his seat in that 
body. In 1786 he declined re-appointment on the bench of the 
supreme court. The legislature, desirous of retaining Mr. Phil- 
lips in the public service, elected him to the office of chief jus- 
tice of the court of common pleas for his native county in the 
year 1795. He soon resigned all public honors and retired to 
private life. All the various civil and military appointments that 
were conferred upon him he discharged with ability and fidelity. 

Mr. Phillips was a man of considerable property, owning a 
handsome estate in Wickford. He was a very polished gentle- 
man, quite spare in person, wore a wig and always dressed with 
great neatness. 

Gilbert Stuart, the father of the celebrated portrait painter, 
was an early settler of North Kingstown. He emigrated from 
Scotland and settled here, where he erected the first snuff mill 
in the United States. His son, Gilbert Charles Stuart, whose 
name was destined to be enrolled among the world's illustrious 
geniuses, early displayed a fondness for pencil sketching, and 
soon acquired a marked degree of proficiency in pencil like- 
nesses. He was put under the tuition of one Alexander when 
about thirteen years old, and accompanied his tutor on a journey 
through the south, and afterward went to Scotland. Mr. Alex- 
ander soon afterward died, and his pupil was left in charge of 
Sir George Chambers. 

The death of Mr. Chambers occurred soon afterward, when 
Mr. Stuart returned to his own country and resumed his pencil, 
residing at Newport. In 1775 he returned to England, and re- 
mained until 1793. Here his genius attracted the nobility, and 


his portraits were regarded as possessing the highest order of 
artistic skill. The inhabitants of the town in which he was born 
may justly feel a pride in his history, as few painters have re- 
ceived more honors than Gilbert Stuart. Mr. Stuart married 
Charlotte Coates, of Reading, Eng., by whom he had a large 
family. He died at Boston, July 28th, 1828, in the seventy-second 
year of his age. 

Theophilus Whalley was at one time a resident of this town. 
He was a peculiar and eccentric man, and it is supposed he was 
one of the regicide judges of King Charles I. The latter part 
his life was spent on a farm in AVest Greenwich. He lived to the 
advanced age of one hundred and three years. 

Alexander Phcenix, one of the earliest settlers of Quidnessett, 
died before 1698, and left a widow, Abigail Phoenix. In 1709 
Widow Phoenix and John Hvmans purchased 163 acres of land of 
the colony. Widow Phoenix built a house there. Her daughter, 
Abigail, married Beriah Brown. Their sons were Alexander 
and Charles Brown. 

This place is near to and just south of Wickford Junction, and 
west of the railroad, lately owned by Paul G. Henrick, who mar- 
ried Lydia Brown, a lineal descendant of the first owner, and 
daughter of John Brown, who was the last of the name to own 
the place. The Hymans land to the east of this has long since 
passed into other hands. On the northerly part of this tract now 
stands most of the village and the railroad station of Wickford 
Junction, while on its eastern border stands the thriving village 
of Lafayette. The original tract mentioned was bounded north 
by the " ten rod road," south by Annaquatucket river, and east by 
Rocky Swamp, which is partly covered by the Bellville reservoir 

Pardon Tillinghast and his brother Philip (sons of Elder Par- 
don Tillinghast, who died in Providence, January 29th, 1718), 
were two of thirteen persons who purchased from the committee 
of the general assembly of Rhode Island the vacant lands in the 
Narragansett district, being some 35,000 acres, by deed executed 
June 30th, 1709, for which they paid eleven hundred pounds ster- 
ling, or fifteen and three-quarter cents per acre. After selling 
part to forty-two settlers, ^the original thirteen had about one 
thousand acres each. Pardon settled on his share and made it 
his homestead, called it the Mansion Estate, and established his 
family cemetery. The first burial was that of his first wife, Mary, 


on February 6th, 1726, and the headstones show records of family- 
burials down to that of Joseph J. Tillinghast, February 26th, 
1862. Pardon Tillinghast settled at East Greenwich, in that part 
called Frenchtown, and from him descended the Tilling-hasts of 
East and West Greenwich. 

William Chadsey, the founder of the Chadsey family in Rhode 
Island, came to this country in 1715. He landed first in the 
Southern states. The next year he came to Newport, and soon 
after crossed the Narragansett bay and fixed his residence at Sand 
Hill, in Kingstown, four miles south of East Greenwich. The 
farm still remains in the family and belongs to his descendants^ 
In the year 1719 he married Susannah Greene, daughter of Jabez, 
and sister to the father of General Nathaniel Greene. They 
lived together sixty-eight years, and both died in 1787, on the 
farm where they first settled. They had four sons and six 
daughters, viz.: Jabez, Mary, Richard, Susannah, Jane, William, 
Naomi, Phebe, John and Elizabeth. Jabez, the eldest, was born 
in 1720. At the age of about thirty he married Honor Huling, 
daughter of Alexander, by whom he had eight children. She 
died in the year 1772, and the next year he marriediMary Corey, 
widow of John, whose first husband was Jeremiah' Greene. He 
married for his third wife Martha Grieves, and died in 1820. His 
children were : Jabez, Tabitha, Joseph, Elizabeth, Honor and 

The numerous descendants of William Chadsey can now easily 
trace their origin from the pioneer member of this family. Mr. 
Jeremiah G. Chadsey, in speaking on this subject, says: "I can 
trace the lineal descent of Susannah Greene, the wife of William 
Chadsey, back to her great-grandfather, who emigrated from 
England in the year 1636 with his family, and settled in Massa- 
chusetts, but was obliged to flee from that colony on account of 
Friendly or Quaker principles. In the year 1642 he came to 
Rhode Island and took up his abode in Warwick. His name was 
John Greene. He had four sons: John, Peter, James and 
Thomas, all born in England. James Greene was born in Eng- 
land in 1628, and died in 1698. He had eleven children, Jabez, 
one of whom, was born in Warwick, in 1673 ; he was the father 
of Susannah, wife of William Chadsey, and also the grandfather 
of General Nathaniel Greene." 

Samuel Waite Wightman was born in the town of North 
Kingstown October 5th, 1789, in the house now owned and occu- 


pied by Crawford Allen, Esq., for his summer residence. His 
parents were George and AVaity Wightman. His father was an 
industrious and respectable farmer, the son of Colonel George 
Wightman, and his mother, the daughter of Deacon Sylvester 
Sweet of East Greenwich. When eighteen years of age he went to 
Pawtuxet and began the trade of cabinet making, commencing 
in this business in 1814 and following it for thirty years. Subse- 
quently he invested considerably in real estate. He was post- 
master of Pawtuxet for twenty years. He was a member of the 
Pawtuxet Baptist church for a period of fifty years. In 1812 he 
married Hannah, daughter of AVilliam and Phebe Thornton, 
which tie was dissolved by his death, June 16th, 1869. He was 
blessed with eleven children, only four of whom are now living. 

From an old record, considerably marred, we have been able 
to transcribe in part the list of the freemen belonging to the 
town of Kingstown in the year of 1696, viz.: 

" Joseph Fones, John Fones, Jeremiah Fones, Samuel Fones, 
Andrew Willett, Jeffrey Champling, James Renolds, Sen., James 
Renolds, Jr., Henry Tibets, George Whitman, John Cotterell, 
William Gibson, James Green, Henry Tibets, Jr., John Hinman, 
Samuel Albrough, Sen., John Briggs, Jr., Edward Green, John 
Eldred, John Spink, Joseph Place, Daniel Eldred, Arthur Aly- 
worth, John Briggs, Sen., Moses Barber, Samuel Eldred, Na- 
thaniel Niles, George Gardner, Samuel Hopkin, Thomas Hazard, 
Stephen Hazard, John Crandall, Thomas Eldred, Benjamin Green, 
John Sweet, Benjamin Gardner, Bennony (Benoni) Sweet, Wil- 
liam Condell, Joseph Hull, Sen., Nicholas Gardner, William Cole, 
Joseph Hull, Jr., William Gardner (cord winder), Samuel Werden, 
Jr., Samuel Helme, John Watson, Jun., Robert Hannah, Edward 
Greenman, Samuel Perry, Jobe Jenny, George Cook, Jeffrey 
Champing, Jr., Robert Hazard, Jr., George Babcock, Jeremiah 
Hazard, Stephen Wilcox, James Huling, Phillip Aylworth, 
Charles Brown, Alexander Brown, Robert Gardner, James Kin- 
yon, Robert Eldred, Joseph Northrup, Nathan Gardner, Thomas 
Willett, Henry Gardner, Stephen Shearman, Thomas Phillips, 
Thomas Eldred, Jr., Thomas Bently, Benjamin Sheffield, Ed- 
mond Sheffield, Daniel Smith, Christopher Phillips, Nicholas 
Northrup, Anthony Eldred, John Wells, Jr., James Sweet, Isaac 
Gardner, Robert Case, Benjamin Sweet, Edward Dyre, Jr., John 
Jenkins, James Huling, Alexander Huling, George Hasard, 
Jeffrey Hasard, Benjamin Mumford, Thomas Potter, Ichabod 


Potter, Henry Northrup, Peleg Mumford, William Sheffield, son 
of Ichabod Sheffield, George Whightman, John Crowder, William 
Havens, Jr., Joseph Congdon and Daniel Nichols. 

In 1674 the general assembly passed an act establishing a town- 
ship in Narragansett and called it King's Town. It was so named 
as an expression of gratitude to the British sovereign for de- 
feating the machinations of neighboring colonies to get posses- 
sion of the territory. Its name was, in 1686, changed to 
Rochester. This change was made under Edmund Andros' ad- 
ministration, but in 1689 the original name was restored. 

The population of Kingstown had increased to such an extent 
that it was early deemed necessary that there should be a division 
of the town, and in June, 1722, when Samuel Cranston was gov- 
ernor, the general assembly convened at Newport, enacted that 
the town of Kingstown be divided and made into two towns by 
the names of North and South Kingstown. North Kingstown 
held the records and was declared to be the older town. The 
town has once since (in 1742) suffered the loss of a large part of 
its territory when the western portion was set aside and incor- 
porated as the town of Exeter. 

The territory now embraced in the town of North Kingstown 
is comprised in a narrow strip of land on the Narragansett shore 
not over seven miles in width in any place, and embraced be- 
tween latitudes 41°, 30', and 41°, 40'. 

The first town meeting under the new organization in 1722 
was ordered to be held February 21st, 1723, to choose jurymen 
who should serve in the next general court of trials, and at the 
second town meeting held on the third Wednesday of the fol- 
lowing month Robert Hull and Francis Willett were elected the 
first delegates to the general assembly. At this time the popu- 
lation was a little less than two thousand. From the date of its 
incorporation the town gained stability, and by the harmony of 
its government, grew in political strength. The discord inci- 
dent to the breaking out of the revolutionary war, however, shat- 
tered society throughout the colonies, and that peace which was 
once blessed and maintained by a frugal, prosperous and indus^ 
trious people was marred by an eight years